Manjit Birk, GoodGym Slough co-ordinator has been volunteering at one of the vaccine centres since December. Here, she gives us a really good insight into why she got involved and what a typical day of volunteering looks like.
“I like helping others. It makes me feel good inside. A nice warm fuzzy feeling knowing that my action or actions that day benefited one (or more) persons. So when Jamie from Slough CVS called me one day to ask if I could get a team of volunteers together to help at the first vaccine centre in Slough I knew this was going to the ‘best good deed’ of the year.
It’s December 2020 and the first vaccines for the most vulnerable residents in our community are being rolled out. Who wouldn’t want to be one of those volunteers that helped make this happen?
So I arrived for my ‘first 6 hour shift’ keen and eager to help be a part of the first step out of this pandemic.
As an avid runner I like being outdoors. Always dressed for the elements, I volunteered to be a car park marshal.
At 8am James and I were ready. We had the patients list and our welcome spiel ready. If I tell you that those 6 hours flew by, would you believe me? Well they did. Even though the lead team offered to swap roles so we could go indoors to warm up and do one of the indoor operational roles, we decided that actually being the first point of contact was the most rewarding for us.
As a regular volunteer with my community group I actually did over 1,000 ‘good deeds’ in 2020 from wellbeing calls to shopping tasks for those shielding to delivering food parcels to families during half term, but this task, this ‘good deed’ was my no. 1 of 2020.
To hear our most vulnerable residents say ‘thank you for helping me’ and ‘I’m so happy to get this vaccine, it means I can think about seeing my family again’ words like that warmed my heart to no end. And actually we are not just helping our most vulnerable residents, but also helping our local heroes – our key workers get vaccinated. When do we ever get the chance to help them?
It’s now mid January and I’m booked in every week on a shift ready to don my high vis, ready to do any role required of me from car park marshal, to entrance area to operational area. Ready to ‘do my bit’.
Each role is varied and each shift offers you plenty of scope to cover each role. If you have time available then please sign up. You won’t regret it.”
You can register to volunteer at https://oneslough.org.uk/volunteer/