The new lockdown has brought an influx of new volunteers to Wells Coronavirus Network.
There were only seven of us when we had our first meeting in March last year. That gradually rose to 350 and now we are 450 strong, which surely suggests that community spirit is alive and well in our city.
Last week 41 of them acted as marshals for the vaccination programme at West Mendip Hospital and another 41 will be covering 6 shifts there this weekend.
Vaccinations are now being offered at 12 sites across Somerset – at ten GP-led community sites and Musgrove Park Hospital and Yeovil District Hospital – while medical teams are also vaccinating care home residents.
The boss of the Bath and West Showground expects the site should be up and running as a mass coronavirus vaccination centre from the end of January.
Rupert Cox said: “We’re really delighted to be involved. I suppose our frustrations are that we were having conversations with the NHS in early December and we thought we were going to be open last Monday.
“Now we’re being told we’re not going to be open for a couple of weeks. There’s already a bit of slippage.”
Meanwhile WCN’s volunteers are continuing to assist the vaccination programme at West Mendip Hospital.
“Our volunteers are very happy to help and do something positive in the Covid crisis,” said Emma Lefevre who is coordinating WCN’s support for the vaccination. “Many of them told me what an uplifting experience it is to be involved in the national effort.
“One woman who had retired recently said it made her feel alive for the first time in ages.
“Thank you so much to all the volunteers who have been helping with the marshalling at West Mendip Hospital – as they roll out the vaccination programme here.
“Please ask your friends and neighbours not to worry if they haven’t been called yet, (the programme has only just begun), and ask them not to contact the surgery directly – practices will be in contact when it is time to have their vaccination.”
Dr Mike Pearce, who is in charge of the vaccination programme at West Mendip Hospital, thanked the WCN volunteers and said: “They are such a superb bunch of people.”
We have had a number of calls from people who have received invitations to get their vaccine at Ashton Gate or in Birmingham and are worried if they turn these offers down they will miss out on the vaccination.
Sharon Morgan, who is the project lead for the local vaccination campaign would like to reassure people that “practices will continue to call and book their 80+ patients into clinics at West Mendip Hospital so if patients do not wish to travel to Ashton Gate, then they will still be on our individual practice lists to be called to a local site. Please reassure them.”
- The number of Covid-19 cases recorded in Mendip in the week to 6th January was 308, an increase of 36 over the previous week. The total number of cases in Mendip recorded by yesterday was 2,091.