When vaccination sites in the UK were set up in December, there was an urgent demand for volunteers to support the programme and help to vaccinate as many people as quickly as possible. Hundreds of students from the University of Manchester decided to step up as volunteers, teaming up with the NHS, St John Ambulance and Manchester Health Care and Commissioning to support the vaccination programme. As well as vaccinating, students also took on the roles of stewards, translators and data inputters, helping the overall process to run as smoothly as possible.
Maisie Camm, a final year Biomedical Sciences student who has been volunteering as a vaccinator for St John Ambulance said: “The first shift flew by and I absolutely loved it so I signed up for more. It has been a great opportunity for me and I’m very lucky to have had the chance to help people during this time.”
Maisie is applying to study Medicine in the Autumn, and so her experience supporting the distribution of the vaccine was the perfect chance to learn new skills and chat with new people.
Speaking about his motivations for volunteering as an observer, Antasar Bashir-Suleman who is studying Chemistry commented: “I started volunteering as I wanted to help out Manchester in getting as many people vaccinated as possible. Whilst volunteering, I met many different people (volunteers, staff and patients) from all scopes of life and I made some friends.”
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