So far over 13 million people in the UK have received their first dose of the coronavirus vaccine. Across the country, thousands of volunteers and health care staff have been operating vaccination centres and making sure they're running as smoothly as possible. And if you want to a chance to help out with the vaccine rollout efforts, here's how to volunteer as a COVID vaccine marshal in the UK.
Referred to as a Steward Volunteers, those who signed up to help will be tasked with managing queues and helping people move around safely as well as ensuring social distancing measures are being followed. You may also be asked to monitor numbers, as well as providing support at other areas like GP surgeries and pharmacies.
Recruitment for this role is currently paused, but the NHS is encouraging people to register their interest so they can be notified when the role is available. To register as a volunteer, you need to fill out an application form through the NHS Volunteer Responders program. Set up in collaboration with the Royal Voluntary Service and the GoodSAM app, this will is either be for the NHS or St John Ambulance.
Alternatively, you can use the site for your local NHS Foundation Trust to look for specific roles in your area. Each site differs in layout, but has a page specifically for volunteering and will direct you to vacancies that need to be filled.
As stated by the NHS, to be able to volunteer as a vaccine marshal, you will need to meet the following criteria:
- Live in England and be over the age of 18
- Be familiar with and use a smartphone, as tasks will be sent and organised through the GoodSAM app.
- Consider your health condition, and if you're clinically vulnerable there are telephone-based roles as well.
- Be ready and available to volunteer
As a Steward Volunteer, you'll be expected to commit to at least two shifts for six hours at a vaccination site each month. There's no maximum number of shifts, so if you're "willing and able, you can commit to as many shifts as you feel able to support." Prior to working your first shift, the NHS advise that you look at the Getting You Started Guide and not to contact the vaccination site directly.
There's no training required as it's a non-clinical role, but you'll be given an introduction and briefing when you first arrive at the vaccination site. As this is a patient-facing role, you will also receive the vaccine prior to your first shift.