VOLUNTEERS are being urged to come forward as Essex ramps up its Covid-19 vaccination and booster programme.

Residents are being asked to spare a few hours a week to help with a range of tasks – such as being a steward or providing administrative support.

County Hall health boss John Spence said: “We’ve seen in the past how Essex stepped up to become volunteers when we desperately needed them.

"I have no doubt that Essex will step up again.

“Having your Covid-19 vaccinations as well as the booster jab is the only way out of this pandemic, and NHS can’t do this without the help of the hundreds of volunteers in Essex.”

Halstead Gazette:

An appeal for help has also be made by the East Suffolk and North Essex Foundation Trust which runs Colchester, Harwich and Clacton hospitals.

It is looking for volunteers to help people getting their vaccinations at the hub at Colchester Hospital.

They are needed to do a range of roles to ensure as many vaccines are administered every day including directing people to vaccination centres, checking attendees in and identifying people who need extra support.

Volunteers must be 16 or over and who can help out at least once a week.

For more information, go to bit.ly/327KyeO.

Community360 vaccine volunteer Hazel Linscott said: “It feels like one of the greatest things I have ever done. I started volunteering at the beginning of the year and haven’t looked back since.

“I wanted to play a part in trying to put an end to this awful time and so decided to put my name forward to help.

“It is so fulfilling. You meet some wonderful people and I get great satisfaction of being part of an amazing group of volunteers.

"We are making a difference to get this world back up and running again and that to me is what it’s all about.”

Halstead Gazette:

Neill Moloney, the trust's acting chief executive, said: “Our staff are working incredibly hard to care for patients and keep our services running safely while also contributing to the national vaccination programme.

"Like all NHS trusts across the country, we are keeping our less urgent work under review so that we can continue to safely care for both our Covid-19 patients and those who need urgent and emergency services.

“The public can support us by getting their Covid-19 jabs, wearing a face mask, continuing to wash their hands regularly and taking regular lateral flow tests.

"We would also like to remind people who need support for their health, that a wide range of help and advice is available from NHS 111 online at www.111.nhs.uk”

To become a volunteer, visit essex.gov.uk/news.