Colchester Borough Council staff are working closely with the NHS to play a key role in the new vaccination centre at the JobServe Community Stadium and Covid-19 testing centre at Leisure World Colchester.
More than 50 redeployed workers have taken up temporary new roles across the borough, since the third national lockdown began, helping to provide vital support for Colchester’s community Covid response.
At the JobServe Community Stadium vaccination centre, which opened on Tuesday (2 February), several trained council staff have taken on roles as marshals to help enforce social distancing, as administrators and helping to support residents after their vaccination.
Leader of the Council, Councillor Mark Cory, took the opportunity to thank them when he visited the stadium yesterday (4 February), before spending several hours also volunteering on the frontline.
Staff who usually work in council services which have had to curb normal operations during lockdown have taken on new challenges to help keep the council running – but some from services still operating are volunteering outside of their normal working hours to support the vaccination and testing programmes.
Staff from museums, Leisure World, parking enforcement and a variety of other council departments continue to offer their skills and experience to support other front line services – from Helpline and Neighbourhood teams to bereavement services and helping to get much-needed government grants to qualifying businesses as swiftly as possible.
Cllr Mark Cory, Leader of Colchester Borough Council, said: “Our staff, who always show exceptional commitment, continue to stretch themselves, often beyond their comfort zones, to help keep our most critical frontline services going.
“I was delighted to get the opportunity to see first-hand the excellent work some of our staff are doing to help co-ordinate support roles at the vaccination centre and to also be able to spend several hours volunteering myself, welcoming patients, checking them in and giving them guidance. Staff were incredibly positive – and the patients even more so. Unsurprisingly, everyone seemed happy and grateful to be there.
“The passion and professionalism of staff supporting our community throughout these exceptionally difficult times has been amazing and I am incredibly proud that we are now working alongside the NHS to support both the critical testing and vaccination programmes.”
Cllr David King, Portfolio Holder for Business and Resources, added: “Our staff continue to show a fantastic ‘can do’ attitude in supporting vital frontline services.
“They have been simply amazing in stepping up throughout the pandemic. From getting out invaluable financial support to businesses and those they employ, to helping the NHS and others get help to those most in need. It is great that they can make a difference, not just in the services we all expect and need, but in helping deliver vaccinations and Covid testing. It’s great partnering work and we are proud of what they do now and every day.”
The NHS continues to urge people to wait until they are contacted and only to visit a vaccination centre when invited to do so, to help ensure priority groups are served first. Find out more here.
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