An electricity worker has revealed the emotional connection which comes with giving people the COVID-19 vaccine as a volunteer.
Jon Bray, 49, from Saxmundham, volunteers twice a week at the Sole Bay vaccination roll-out in Southwold, run by the Beccles medical centre. He has been given time to do so by his employer UK Power Networks, where he usually trains engineering staff at their Bury St Edmunds training centre.
Now his duties every Tuesday and Thursday, and in his own time at weekends, are as part of team of volunteers and medical staff vaccinating the local community in and around Southwold.
Jon has already administered vaccines to vulnerable people and health workers as part of the first stage of the government’s vaccination programme, as well as becoming a patient advocate and data inputter at the centre.
Jon says: “You do get a fantastic reaction from people after you administer the jab and the overriding emotion I would say is elation. We had one lady receive the jab and then come back the next day to thank us all again.
“It’s a great feeling to be part of a team delivering for the local community. I’m just one of a number of volunteers who will be doing this for the foreseeable future as we bid to control the coronavirus pandemic.
“I’m a First Aider and have taken on additional training for this role and I’m really grateful to UK Power Networks for releasing me to help the community in working hours as one of two dozen volunteers each day.
“I can take on a range of roles from giving the vaccine to patients to staying with them for at least 15 minutes after they had the jab to check they are okay. I’ve even done a stint at managing the car parking, I’m just happy to help whichever way I can! It’s totally a team effort with around 100 volunteers in total so I’m a small cog in a very big wheel.”
Jo Calderon, business manager of the Beccles Medical Centre and Sole Bay vaccination centre, comments: “We are massively grateful to our new worker, Jon and his company for lending him to us and funding his work for us. He is a really adaptable volunteer who is helping us in so many ways. Everyone contributing is helping to save lives.”