HRH The Duchess of Cornwall visits NHS Volunteer Responder volunteers at COVID-19 vaccination site

Tuesday, 23 February 2021

Royal Voluntary Service President, HRH The Duchess of Cornwall, today visited Wembley Park vaccination centre to meet NHS Volunteer Responder volunteers as well as NHS staff who have supported the vaccine rollout during the pandemic.

The Duchess of Cornwall thanked the volunteers on the frontline of the vaccination effort and shared words of encouragement to those waiting for their jabs.

The Duchess also took the time to thank NHS staff including Pippa Nightingale, Chief Nursing Officer for Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust who leads the North West London vaccination programme, for their incredible response to the pandemic and the swift rollout of life-saving vaccines to millions of people in the highest priority groups since December.

Our Steward Volunteers help on site by guiding people to make sure the vaccination process runs as smoothly and efficiently as possible. They help ensure social distancing and identify people who need additional support.

The visit comes as the NHS Volunteer Responders scheme, delivered by Royal Voluntary Service and the GoodSAM app, announced that its volunteers had answered more than 1.5 million requests for help throughout the pandemic.

This includes support with tasks such as shopping and prescription collection, transport to and from vital medical appointments and stewarding at vaccination sites. The volunteers also provide “check in and chat calls” for those who might be feeling isolated, something Her Royal Highness has done herself.

"We are incredibly grateful to our President HRH The Duchess of Cornwall for visiting the vaccination site and showing her support of the NHS Volunteer Responder Volunteers. Each and every volunteer who stepped forward to support the NHS and their community is a hero in my eyes. We truly appreciate the continued efforts of our volunteers during the pandemic and as the vaccination programme moves forward."

Sam Ward, Deputy CEO of Royal Voluntary Service

"Volunteers are a crucial part of the Wembley Vaccination Centre, and all vaccination centres across the country. They provide a friendly face to those who are coming for their vaccination and provide reassurance to those who might be nervous or unsure about where to go and what to do. They deserve all the recognition they get, and more."

Pippa Nightingale, Chief Nursing Officer for Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

For further information

Royal Voluntary Service is one of the largest voluntary service organisations in Britain. We inspire and enable volunteers to help people in need in hospitals, at home and in the community.

Our volunteers improve patient experience in hospital, aid recovery after a stay on ward, help older people support themselves at home, stay fit and active and build meaningful social connections.

Royal Voluntary Service supports volunteers to run services in the community such as lunch and dining clubs, physical activity classes, craft, gardening and other hobby groups. We work collaboratively with other charities, social care providers and the NHS to help create a society where everyone feels valued and involved.

The charity is one of the UK’s largest hospital retailers with volunteer-run shops, cafés and trolley services providing tea and company to patients, hospital staff and visitors.

To become a local volunteer search for volunteering opportunities in your area. Or help make a difference by making a secure online donation.

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Royal Voluntary Service... a national charity built on local volunteering, giving support to people to meet the needs of the day in the NHS and in our communities.

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