A Covid-19 vaccination volunteer has been presented with a BBC North West Tonight Christmas Star for all his hard work since the vaccination programme began.
Peter Garwood, 65, from Barrow-in-Furness, was presented with the award on Wednesday 8 December at the Alfred Barrow Health Centre during a Covid vaccination clinic.
Peter, a member of the Rotary Club of Furness, has spearheaded the volunteer response since day one of the vaccination programme, not only volunteering himself but also organising the rota of stewards.
Dr Sarah Arun, local GP and Clinical Lead for Barrow and Millom Primary Care Network said: “It’s been a year since we started the Covid vaccination programme and within that time we’ve delivered almost 80,000 vaccinations in the local area.
“There’s no way we would have been able to do this without the volunteer service and there’s no way we would have been able to do this without Peter.
“I’d like to thank every single person who has volunteered within our primary care network, the amount of time they have given up to support this work is astounding and we really do appreciate it.”
Peter, who is a hotel manager by trade, has been involved with a lot of community work over the years and is no stranger to volunteering.
He said: “It’s always been important to me to be involved in the community that I live in, so when I heard about the opportunity to volunteer for the Covid vaccination programme I didn’t hesitate to get involved.
“I always make sure I do what I do with a smile on my face and with running hotels for as long as I have been, writing and organising rotas is second nature to me.
“It’s been a complete surprise to win this award as it really is a team effort. It’s been a joy working alongside the people involved with the vaccination clinics and I’ll carry on for as long as they need me.”
In recent weeks there has been a call for more people to join the volunteer service as the Covid vaccination programme ramps up.
Vaccination centres rely heavily on essential volunteers who provide marshalling both within buildings and on car parks to help make sure people feel safe and confident when attending their appointments.
Jane Scattergood, senior responsible officer for the Lancashire and South Cumbria vaccination programme, said: “We are so grateful to the thousands of people who have already applied and trained for voluntary roles as part of the NHS COVID-19 vaccine team.
“Thanks to these volunteers, and the many existing NHS staff who have trained to deliver vaccines or perform other important roles, we have had enough people to roll out the vaccine programme at pace to our local population.
“However, we now need more people to get involved as volunteers for the next phase, so if you can spare a few hours a week, please sign up – it’s a great thing to do.”
If you want to volunteer to support the vaccinations programme, register now at www.healthierlsc.co.uk/volunteer