THE Sun’s Jabs Army campaign received more support from top businesses yesterday – as Health Secretary Matt Hancock urged readers to take part.
Airlines EasyJet and Jet 2 yesteday joined sandwich chain Pret to back the appeal by calling on their workers to take part.
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Sign up at nhsvolunteerresponders.org.uk
Yesterday Mr Hancock praised our campaign as the number of volunteers signing up reached the 30,000 mark.
He said: “Come and be a part of it. The Sun’s Jabs Army is marching and helping the nation.”
Professor Stephen Powis, NHS National Medical Director, said:“We are extremely grateful for the work everybody is doing, including The Sun, in getting volunteers to come and join us.
“We have had around 80,000 people coming forward and still more wanting to come.
“So the more that we can get involved in the largest vaccination programme the NHS has ever delivered, the better. So a huge thanks.”
Other new firms who are backing the drive to roll out the vaccine by urging thousands of workers to volunteer are housebuilder Barratt’s and cinema chain Odeon.
Their support, along with that of other companies such as BT, Sky, Amazon, John Lewis, and Virgin Media means that up to one million workers are available to join the effort to immunise the nation.
Their workers are being asked to serve as Steward Volunteers to help with the safe and smooth running of NHS vaccination centres.
Many of easyJet’s 7300 employees are on furlough and have already volunteered to help the NHS.
Johan Lundgren, easyJet CEO, said: “We are incredibly proud to be supporting The Sun’s campaign. While the progress the country is making on the vaccination programme is an exciting and much-needed development it needs the whole country to get behind it.
“easyJet has more than 7000 employees in the UK, with some having already volunteered to support the NHS during the pandemic, so I am confident many more will be stepping up to support the Jabs Army.”
His comments were echoed by the boss of Barratt’s, the housebuilder that has 6,000 employees across the UK.
David Thomas CEO of Barratt Developments said: “We’re delighted to support The Sun’s “Jabs Army” – it’s vital we all pull together to fight Covid and we will be encouraging our Barratt teams around the country to get stuck in and help the NHS roll out vaccines in their areas.”
Pret, which employs 6,500 in the UK and has 389 shops, is also asking its staff to sign up.
'EVERYONE HAS PART TO PLAY'
Clare Clough, Pret’s UK Managing Director said: “Everyone has a part to play during this crisis. At Pret, we’re trying to do our bit by making sure key workers are able to get fresh food and coffee while going about their vital work.”
She added: “There’s plenty more to do, though. That’s why we’re wholeheartedly supporting The Sun’s campaign to help get the country vaccinated. We’ll be updating our Teams around the country on how they can volunteer and supporting anyone who chooses to sign up.”
Odeon, the 960 screen cinema chain with around 11.500 employees, is also supporting the campaign.
Ordinary volunteers who have already signed up include mum Alison Kerren.
Alison, 46, of Chelmsford, Essex, said: “The great thing is you don’t have to have loads of experience.
“When you are working as volunteer in a vaccine centre you will meet people from lots of different backgrounds. All those skills together can achieve great things.”
Mature student Kendra Hutchinson decided to join the Jabs Army out of admiration for the scientists who worked tirelessly to develop the Covid vaccine.
How to sign up
VOLUNTEERS for the Jabs Army are being asked to first register online at nhsvolunteerresponders.org.uk
You will then receive an email with log-in details to sign up online.
Finally, you will be asked to download the GoodSAM app on a smartphone which will match you to a role in your area.
Services will be opening in the coming days and weeks, with different areas up and running at different times, so you might not be required on site for some weeks. Not everyone who signs up will need to be called upon.
You need to commit to only two six-hour shifts a month at a vaccination service, and no prior experience or qualifications are required.
You will work as part of a team that will include NHS staff and volunteers. The Royal Voluntary Service will conduct appropriate background checks.
Go to nhsvolunteerresponders.org.uk
Kendra, 36, of Ferryhill, Co Duyrham, who studies biomedical science at Teesside University, said: “I’ve been closely following the work the scientists have been doing on the vaccine and they are amazing.
Former office worker Caron Hedges, 60, loves working as a volunteer steward because it fits around her life.
Caron, 60, one of 100 volunteers with Brentwood Mutal Aid group said: “The beauty is that you can do as much or as little as you want, whatever fits in with you.”
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