Sheffield's Joe Root backs calls for more volunteers to help with Covid vaccine rollout

Sporting stars including Sheffield’s Joe Root have come together to support the NHS call for more volunteers to step up and support the vaccine rollout.

Friday, 20th August 2021, 12:35 pm

To help get the next phase of the coronavirus vaccination rollout across the finish line, NHS Volunteer Responders are urgently calling for more steward volunteers at vaccination sites as demand for volunteer support has soared.

Sport England has got behind the campaign, teeing up sports fans and clubs across the country to give their time to support as volunteers.

England Men’s Cricket captain, Joe Root is showing his support for NHS Volunteer Responders’ call for more volunteers.

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England's Joe Root celebrates his century during day four of Cinch First Test match at Trent Bridge, Nottingham on Saturday August 7, 2021. Picture: Tim Goode/PA Wire

He said: “The NHS have been amazing throughout these unprecedented times. Please show your support by volunteering with the vaccine rollout this summer. Let’s make sure we’re doing everything we can to look out for each other and the generations to come.”

Chelsea football hero, Ben Chilwell is on the starting line-up of stars backing the recruitment campaign. Ben said: “This is an amazing opportunity to do something really incredible this summer and be part of the team of heroes that have been working so hard to get everyone jabbed.”

Rugby star Stephan Lewies whose club Harlequins are hosting a Vaccination Centre at their stadium in Twickenham has also joined the union of sports stars encouraging people to step up and tackle COVID-19.

Stephan, who captained Harlequins to the Gallagher Premiership Rugby title in June said: “Volunteering to help the rollout is just one way you can show your gratitude to our amazing NHS. It has been phenomenal to see how quickly the NHS has delivered the vaccine programme. They’re working incredibly hard and fast to get the younger age groups jabbed and double jabbed and they need your support.”

Sam Ward, Deputy CEO of Royal Voluntary Service added: “We are so grateful to have some of the biggest names in sport cheering us on and supporting our recruitment for steward volunteers to help the NHS to get everyone over 18 vaccinated. The NHS has been spectacular in delivering the rollout at such a pace to date, and it isn’t possible without the help of volunteers. As a steward volunteer (SV), your time is more valuable to the vaccine rollout than you can imagine. So now the ball is in your court, please go and sign up.”

Professor Sir Keith Willet, SRO – NHS Covid-19 vaccine deployment programme at NHS England said: “We are incredibly appreciative of everyone that has stepped forward to support the vaccine rollout so far. All out vaccination volunteers are performing a critical role and are a key part of the programme’s success. Our Steward Volunteers do a fantastic job of freeing up our staff to focus on the task at hand, and at this crucial stage we need these volunteers now more than ever so we can make sure as many eligible people as possible get all their jabs done.”

Volunteers in this rewarding role will be supporting the hard-working clinical staff at vaccination sites and helping the people that have come for their jab to complete the process safely and comfortably.

They help to ensure social distancing measures are in place and identify people who require additional support. Volunteer safety is a priority, with sites providing a full briefing ahead of the shift.People interested in signing up as a SV can go to www.nhsvolunteerresponders.org.uk. Shifts usually last up to six hours with your expenses covered. No experience or qualifications are required.

The NHS Volunteer Responders programme was set up by NHS England and NHS Improvement to support the pandemic response and is delivered by Royal Voluntary Service and GoodSAM. Volunteers use a mobile phone app to choose what shifts they would like to do and when

Jenny Betteridge, Strategic Volunteering Lead at Sport England said: “Thank you to the amazing 10 million people who already volunteer locally to keep sport and activity going. Local sports clubs and fans can play a big part in supporting the vaccine rollout too, and are now coming together with the NHS to help keep our communities safe. Every vaccine dosed out is a step closer to getting everyone safely back out playing sports and getting active. If you can, make a difference and volunteer as a Steward this summer.”