Hundreds of our volunteers are available to support the Wales wide vaccination programme in the fight against COVID-19, Helen Smith, Chief Executive of our charity confirmed this week.
We've been approved by Welsh Government to support the vaccination roll out with our army of volunteers, highly trained in immunisation, exit care, first aid and volunteer clinical supervisors. So far three health boards have taken up the offer of additional support.
“Wales and the wider UK has reached a crucial moment in our fightback against COVID-19. The vaccination programme is a leap forwards in ridding us of this deadly virus.
St John Ambulance Cymru have strong links with communities across Wales and we’ve been there for people through some of the nation’s darkest times. We are the charity that steps forward in the moments that matter, to save lives and keep communities safe. The skills our volunteers work hard to develop mean we are uniquely placed to offer support now.
We've been overwhelmed by the amount of people who have selflessly come forward to join us and give their time. We will continue to do all we can to recruit and train volunteers to support the health boards as and when needed.
The pandemic has united us all - voluntary organisations, public and private sector.
Now is the time for us to come together again to support in the delivery of vaccinations. We are here to help, ready and raring to fight the virus.”
St John Ambulance Cymru, Chief Executive Officer, Helen Smith
Our volunteers are already being deployed to Cardiff and Vale UHB, Aneurin Bevan UHB and Cwm Taf UHB. Cardiff and Vale UHB (CVUHB) were of the first to enlist our support.
“Cardiff and Vale University Health Board welcomes the opportunity to work together with volunteers from St John Ambulance Cymru. We value the input of their volunteers in the many varied roles helping us to deliver the complex vaccination programme to our population in Cardiff and the Vale.
Volunteers working with our dedicated vaccination teams are enabling delivery of a safe and efficient programme. The role of volunteers has been invaluable and inspirational throughout the pandemic and is a key component to delivery of this challenging programme.”
Spokesperson from Cardiff and Vale University Health Board
We rely on donations and all our volunteers give up their time for free. As well as supporting on the Wales wide vaccination programme, we're continuing our work on the front line delivering first aid, training and first response care.
“I’ve been a volunteer for several years and when I got put on furlough, it coincided with the time St John Ambulance Cymru were asking for volunteers to upskill. I got accepted to work in the field hospitals.
Whenever patients or even NHS staff find out for the first time that I am a volunteer, the feeling of gratitude I get is overwhelming. I want to volunteer to support the fight against COVID-19 so I can say I’ve done my bit. I could think of nothing worse than coming through at the other end knowing I hadn’t done anything.”
St John Ambulance Cymru, volunteer, Rhydian Birkinshaw
“I want to pay tribute to all of the incredible volunteers that have given up their time to help throughout this crisis.”
I am delighted to see that St John Ambulance Cymru is leading the way helping and supporting the vaccination rollout across Wales. It is truly humbling to see so many come forward, despite the dangers and risks and help in the national effort to tackle this virus.
It is vitally important that we come together as a nation, support our NHS and protect our communities through this crisis.”
Deputy Minister and Chief Whip, Jane Hutt
If you would like to help support us by donating or volunteering in your area, more information can be found here.