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Steve steps up for Volunteers Week!

This week it is #VolunteersWeek, a time to say, “Thank you!” to all the volunteers who supported our local community through the Coronavirus pandemic and beyond. Today we spoke to Sapphire’s Steve Withnell, who currently volunteers with St. John’s Ambulance to give out COVID-19 vaccinations.

In December 2020, Steve took the opportunity to help with our country’s biggest health threat in decades by applying to volunteer as a vaccinator along with 30,000 other qualified members of the public who met the NHS requirements of 2 A levels.


What training was provided?

he training comprises about 16 hours online work followed by a full day’s classroom training; this is when you get to inject a plastic arm with a real needle! Once you pass the face-to-face assessment, there is an induction day – this is the day you do your first jab. The day is supervised – half the day getting used to the IT system for recording the details of the person you going to vaccinate, then the other part of the day actually injecting the vaccine.

What does a typical volunteering day look like for you?


Typically, I do my jabbing on Mondays, shifts vary from 7-8 hours. I think I’d got past a hundred jabs before I felt truly comfortable and everything routine. At the moment, I’m signed off to vaccinate using AstraZeneca, Pfizer and Moderna vaccines

What do you enjoy about volunteering for St John’s Ambulance Service?


The vaccination centres are staffed with great people and there is no shortage of characters. Especially the customers! It’s also a great opportunity to help out with the country’s biggest threat

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