More than one hundred volunteers recently attended a socially distanced event at the Larruperz Centre in Ross to receive thanks for their contribution to the COVID19 vaccination delivery programme.
At the event, which was coordinated by Ross Community Development Trust, volunteers – who we prefer to call ‘COVID19 Vaccination Heroes’ - were presented with a commemorative badge and postcard. These had been specially designed by Herefordshire school girl, Bethan Pearson (aged 15, from Whitecross School in Hereford).
Sharon Waldis, Primary Care Network Development Manager from Taurus Healthcare, was there to present the mementoes. She said:
“It was very humbling to witness how many volunteers had given up their time to help out at the vaccination centre. We couldn’t have achieved what we have with this, the largest vaccination programme in living memory, without them.
“The badges and postcards are just a small token of our thanks, but the volunteers seemed truly thankful to be recognised in this way.”
COVID19 vaccinations have been administered at the Larruperz since December 2020. On an average day, around 300-400 injections are given by skilled healthcare staff from the six surgeries that make up the ‘South and West Primary Care Network’: Alton Street and Pendeen Surgeries in Ross, Fownhope Medical Practice, Much Birch Surgery, Kingstone and Golden Valley Surgeries.
The contribution of the ‘Vaccination Heroes’ - cannot be overstated. They provide vital support, such as car park marshalling, welcoming patients, sanitising chairs and clipboards and acting as runners for the healthcare team. Without them, the hub would simply not be able to function as smoothly and efficiently as is often commented upon.
The first patients to come through the Hub were the oldest cohort as well as many health and social care staff. Sharon commented:
“A handful of the first patients were over 100 years old and they were so pleased to receive their jabs. Many saw it as the first step towards being able to reconnect with family, friends and loved ones.
“I live in Ross-on-Wye and I’ve seen from local Facebook group pages the positive comments people have made about the Larruperz Vaccination Hub. Mostly, people express their gratitude at being able to receive their vaccination. Then there are lots of positive comments about the brilliant atmosphere at the hub and how well organised it all is.
“I would like to place on record my thanks to Brian Marshall (Chair of the Larruperz Centre) and all his team members for making us feel so welcome and for accommodating our needs.”
Since those early days, the Larruperz has continued to welcome hundreds of patients each week in order of priority, as defined by NHS England. The centre is expected to remain open for the time being to deliver second vaccinations as well as first vaccinations for younger groups who are now being contacted by their GP surgeries to attend.
See below for individual stories of the 'Vaccination Heroes' who help out at the South and West PCN Hub at the Larruperz Centre: