Since the 19th January 2021 South Essex Community Hub (SECH) stepped in to help support Southend Central PCN with volunteer support at their two main vaccination sites, Saxon Hall and Belle Vue.
Volunteer Southend (run by SECH) had already been supporting local GP surgeries by providing volunteers who the surgeries were then able to manage directly. As the rollout continued at pace, it became clear that Southend Central PCN did not have the capacity to manage volunteers themselves so SECH offered to support and coordinate. In the first few weeks Achievement Through Football and South Essex Homes also kindly contributed staff and volunteers to support the growing need.
Over the following weeks SECH organised a team of dedicated volunteers. These volunteers have been providing full support at the centres for the last twenty weeks. It is an important point to note that Volunteers have contributed 4,676 hours over the two sites. If these volunteers had been paid at the minimum wage (£8.91) that would be a total of £41,663.16.
However, there is a cost for SECH providing this support. This includes hire of a new staff member, additional staff hours and volunteer expenses. SECH has not received any funding for this and as a result regretfully, we are now no longer able to continue this support. Southend Central PCN will hold all responsibility and management of volunteers from the 14th May 2021.
The staff and Volunteers at SECH have thoroughly enjoyed this experience and are overjoyed that we were able to play such a vital role in supporting the community to receive their vaccines and help with the fight against Covid.
- “This was my first volunteering experience and I think my enjoyment of helping out during this COVID crisis was largely due to the organisation, kind spirit and professionalism held by the organisers (Kasey & Amber)”
- “Helping out with the vaccination roll out was enlightening. Just seeing all the patients that had been shielding getting their jabs and the look of relief on their faces made the whole thing worthwhile.”
- “The loyalty and perseverance of all the volunteers has been very inspirational to me. As an experienced volunteer myself their professionalism has been very impressive and they have been a pleasure to work with and a credit to themselves and SECH. Hopefully I will work with them again at some point in the future.”
- “I felt very honoured to be working as part of SECH. The organisation of the system was very thorough and I loved my time there. Kasey was brilliant with us volunteers and made us all feel like a little family. From having to stay at home in lockdown this opportunity couldn’t have come at a better time mentality for me. I really felt I was giving something back and I can only thank Amber and Kasey for making this such an amazing experience and one I will never forget.”
- “My personal experience of being involved with the volunteer programme has been an extremely positive one. I have enjoyed it immensely and have formed friendships which I have no doubt will continue into the future. I have greatly admired the efforts made by yourself and Kasey to provide good support to the medical staff while at the same time ensuring that us volunteers felt valued and supported. I can’t praise the two of you highly enough. SECH is an amazing organisation and it has been my pleasure to be involved in their contribution to the national vaccination programme.”
This data really shows the true impact this experience has had for volunteers, SECH and the local community.
With a positive increase in individuals’ mental health (91%) and the likelihood to volunteer for other charities in the future it is clear that this opportunity has not only benefited the community in the short term but will continue to positively affect the local community in the future.