The NHS Needs Vaccine Volunteers Again. Here's How To Sign Up

NHS volunteer Chitra Acharya says "it's one of the most rewarding things I have ever done".
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The NHS is calling for volunteers again as it relaunches the Covid-19 booster vaccine programme ahead of the winter months.

The initiative will target those clinically at risk from the virus and people aged 50 and over, a total of 26 million people, NHS England said.

Volunteers are needed to help with the smooth running of vaccination sites.

Chitra Acharya, who has volunteered for the NHS in the past, said it’s an incredibly rewarding role: “I have particularly enjoyed doing my bit as a steward volunteer to help protect my community from Covid, and I have met some brilliant people along the way.

“I will be continuing in my role for as long as I’m needed as it’s one of the most rewarding things I have ever done.”

Here’s what you need to know, plus how to sign up.

What is the volunteer role?

The NHS is looking for people to become steward volunteers, which help at vaccination sites with non-clinical tasks, including moving patients through the process and identifying people who require additional support.

Shifts are flexible across a variety of centres around England. Expenses are covered and no previous experience or qualifications are required.

If you’re considering becoming a volunteer, you need to live in England, be over 18, and be available to do at least one shift per week, which is four hours long.

You also need to have a smartphone as tasks will be sent directly to your phone via the GoodSAM app.

When you turn up for your shift you’ll be given a full briefing, as well as a high vis jacket.

If you’ve volunteered before, you don’t need to sign up again. The NHS advises checking for shifts in your area via the app.

How do I sign up?

If you’re interested in volunteering, you can sign up on the NHS Volunteer Responders site.

Catherine Johnstone CBE, chief executive of the Royal Voluntary Service, said volunteers are a “huge asset” to the NHS.

“We are extremely proud of the tremendous contribution that they have made to keep our nation safe to date,” she said.

“Ahead of the upcoming booster rollout, the NHS now needs more people to step forward and join the remarkable team of volunteers in this incredibly rewarding steward volunteering role.

“Any time you can offer at all will make an invaluable difference to the health of the most vulnerable people in your community this winter.”