Foodbank centre leader helps vaccinate local people

20th January 2021

We’re so proud of our colleague Sue who is volunteering as a Covid-19 vaccinator in a church hall in Tooting. In normal times, Sue leads our food bank centre in Furzedown. But while our centres are closed and we’re doing home deliveries, Sue is using her skills as a retired hospital consultant and retired vicar – coupled with her huge kindness – to help vaccinate local people.

Sue says:

Last week I reported for duty with five other vaccinators to the local Baptist church hall. We’ve just completed 1200 vaccinations and I’ve found it a profoundly moving experience.

‘A number of parishioners were surprised to see me in scrubs wielding a syringe, and other parishioners were there as volunteers – guiding patients through the process and keeping everyone cheerful.

‘I met some extraordinary people. The oldest was an incredibly fit 96 year old and the youngest a 36 year old front line worker. Some were full of excitement and joy at the prospect of developing protection from the virus. There were tears of joy with the parent-carer of a young disabled child, and with a young woman with a life-threatening condition. There was the confession from a young pharmacist that he was terrified of injections and the fear that he was not going to cope – he did!

‘The community came together as patients, GP practice professionals and volunteers to begin the work of protecting us all from infection. It was a privilege to vaccinate some of the front-line workers – carers, physios, pharmacist and two GPs, and to appreciate that for the past ten months they have worked at great personal risk. Now, at last, some real protection from the infection is in sight – albeit still up to 12-14 weeks away!

‘At the end of this coming week it is hoped that more vaccine will be delivered so that the roll out of immunization can continue. Until then I am feeling so thankful for the privilege of being involved and for the organization, team working, kindness, humour and gratitude evidenced by those that I have met in the past three days.

‘Do encourage friends, family, neighbours to respond to their invitation for vaccination – it is the best practical way to contribute to ensuring that the pandemic comes under control. And do continue to pray for those involved in vaccine manufacture, logistics of distribution, practicalities of administration and all of us that we together may play a part, however small it seems, in overcoming the pandemic.’

Huge thanks and well done to Sue – and to everyone across Wandsworth who is stepping up to help people receive this vital vaccine.

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