Milton Keynes' own Ben Chilwell backs Covid vaccination campaign

He joins other sports stars in call for more 'vax' sites volunteers
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Football ace Ben Chilwell is lending his support to a new campaign calling for more volunteers to support Covid vaccination sites across the country.

Chelsea and England football ace Ben, has joined other sports stars including England Men's cricket captain Joe Root and Harlequins rugby star Stephan Lewies in backing the call for more stewards to help out.

Milton Keynes in particular has seen a growing need for steward volunteers with more age groups becoming eligible for Covid jabs along with booster jabs on the horizon.

Ben Chilwell is supporting a campaign for more volunteers to help out at Covid vaccination centresBen Chilwell is supporting a campaign for more volunteers to help out at Covid vaccination centres
Ben Chilwell is supporting a campaign for more volunteers to help out at Covid vaccination centres

Ben said: “This is an amazing opportunity to do something really incredible this summer and be part of the team of heroes that have been working so hard to get everyone jabbed.”

Joe Root said: “The NHS have been amazing throughout these unprecedented times. Please show your support by volunteering with the vaccine rollout this summer. Let’s make sure we’re doing everything we can to look out for each other and the generations to come.”

Stephan Lewies, who captained Harlequins to the Gallagher Premiership Rugby title in June, said: “Volunteering to help the rollout is just one way you can show your gratitude to our amazing NHS. It has been phenomenal to see how quickly the NHS has delivered the vaccine programme. They’re working incredibly hard and fast to get the younger age groups jabbed and double jabbed and they need your support.”

Professor Sir Keith Willet, SRO – NHS Covid-19 vaccine deployment programme at NHS England said: “We are incredibly appreciative of everyone that has stepped forward to support the vaccine rollout so far. All our vaccination volunteers are performing a critical role and are a key part of the programme’s success. Our steward volunteers do a fantastic job of freeing up our staff to focus on the task at hand, and at this crucial stage we need these volunteers now more than ever so we can make sure as many eligible people as possible get all their jabs done.”

Volunteers in this rewarding role will be supporting the hard-working clinical staff at vaccination sites and helping the people that have come for their jab to complete the process safely and comfortably. Volunteers help to ensure social distancing measures are in place and identify people who require additional support. Volunteer safety is a priority, with sites providing a full briefing ahead of the shift.

People interested in signing up as a SV can go to Shifts usually last up to six hours with expenses covered. No experience or qualifications are required.

The NHS Volunteer Responders programme was set up by NHS England and NHS Improvement to support the pandemic response and is delivered by Royal Voluntary Service and GoodSAM. Volunteers use a mobile phone app to choose what shifts they would like to do and when.

Sam Ward, deputy CEO of Royal Voluntary Service ,said: “We are so grateful to have some of the biggest names in sport cheering us on and supporting our recruitment for Steward Volunteers to help the NHS to get everyone over 18 vaccinated. The NHS has been spectacular in delivering the rollout at such a pace to date, and it isn’t possible without the help of volunteers. As a Steward Volunteer, your time is more valuable to the vaccine rollout than you can imagine. So now the ball is in your court, please go and sign up.”

Jenny Betteridge, Strategic Volunteering Lead at Sport England said: “Thank you to the amazing 10 million people who already volunteer locally to keep sport and activity going. Local sports clubs and fans can play a big part in supporting the vaccine rollout too, and are now coming together with the NHS to help keep our communities safe.

"Every vaccine dosed out is a step closer to getting everyone safely back out playing sports and getting active. If you can, make a difference and volunteer as a Steward this summer.”