The momentum for the vaccination programme in this area is being created as local and family-run businesses are helping find volunteer drivers to ferry those scheduled for a vaccination to their centre at the time given, after teaming up with Devizes MP Danny Kruger and Community First.
Last week marlborough.news reported how the Marlborough & District LINK organisation was calling for more volunteer drivers
Local and family-run businesses are leading the way in finding volunteer drivers to get people to vaccination centres after teaming up with Devizes MP Danny Kruger and Community First.
Danny Kruger met with Sam Gaiger, of Gaiger Brothers Devizes, Toby Bartholomew of Wadworth Brewery and Alex Scott from TH White very recently to discuss how this area’s businesses can contribute to the vaccine rollout. They all generously offered to help find volunteer drivers to get people to vaccination centre and to encourage their own staff to help where possible.
Danny Kruger said: “We have thousands of people needing to get to the vaccination centres, many of them without transport. Gaigers, TH White and Wadworth are all offering their staff time off work, and expenses covered, to volunteer as a driver with local LINK schemes organised by Community First. I am hugely grateful for the generosity of these businesses and their employees.”
Critical to the Marlborough and surrounding area is to get patients scheduled for vaccination appointments from their homes in Marlborough or any of the many outlying villages to the two vaccination centres – in Ramsbury and Pewsey
Last week TH White launched an appeal to staff, as well as their spouses and partners, to help in the national vaccination effort, and the company will help by covering transportation expenses for any employees/partners who choose to volunteer. Gaiger Brothers Devizes is also in conversation with Community First about how best to help, which might include giving employees days off to drive people to vaccination centres or volunteer at the centres themselves if needed.
Mr Bartholomew, managing director of Wadworth, who will be supporting staff who volunteer, said, “After initially offering up our pubs as vaccine hubs, we subsequently discovered that the more pressing need is to help drive the more vulnerable and older adults to get their Covid vaccines. Many of our fantastic team have indicated they want to help out in whatever way possible and assisting the heroes in the NHS achieve the biggest vaccination rollout in our history gives them this opportunity.”
Employees of these businesses will be volunteering with Wiltshire’s various LINK schemes, with help from Community First. Wiltshire LINK Schemes are voluntary groups (see recent story) which offer a transport and good neighbour service to local people who are in need, perhaps because they are elderly, disabled, isolated and lonely, single parents, or perhaps temporarily in need because of illness. LINK Schemes operate as small, independent charitable organisations and all volunteers use their own private vehicles. (Insurance and DBS checks are carried out).
Due to Covid 19, the LINK schemes have found themselves suffering from a large number of volunteers being unable to drive because of age and or vulnerability. They desperately need more volunteers to support those in need of transport to and from their COVID-19 vaccination appointments.