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Power engineer helps with vaccine rollout

An innovation engineer at UK Power Networks is working as a Covid-19 vaccination volunteer in her spare time to help the country’s recovery as restrictions ease.

From News & press - 24 May 2021 12:00 AM

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Florentine Roy, from Waverley, a St John Ambulance Covid-19 vaccination volunteer, wanted to be useful and help life to return to normal after seeing the challenges caused by the pandemic. Her employer gave her time off from work to take part in her latest shift at the Sandown Racecourse vaccination centre in Esher, where she helped efforts to administer the vaccine to some of the 1,500 patients coming for a first or second vaccination on that day.

Florentine said: “I feel proud, because it’s such a rewarding thing to do. We can see the direct effects of our work in the reduction in new Covid infections and numbers vaccinated. The pace of the vaccination rollout is very fast and it is satisfying to know we are playing a small part. I’m just a very small cog in the big machine making this happen.”

Following a thorough selection process and extensive training from St John Ambulance and the NHS, she has completed shifts at several NHS vaccination facilities, including administering the vaccine, checking people in, answering questions, double checking doses drawn by nurses and keeping an eye on people after their vaccine.

She added: “We have all been stuck in this situation for many months. Many people have been getting sick and passing away, people have lost loved ones and not been able to be by their side, and people have not seen their families.

“I want to make sure we can all get back to some sort of ‘normal’ as soon as possible. Even those not suffering physical loss have been stuck at home, which can take a serious toll on mental health. I have been blessed with good health and I’m at a stage in my life where I can help, without taking too much risk. I wanted to contribute and do something useful with my time.

“Also, I like learning and understanding things, so as a scientist, once I knew we finally had a solution, I was keen to understand how it works, then make a contribution to deliver it.”

Following an application and interview, Florentine completed extensive training covering topics including first aid, safeguarding roles, understanding the vaccines, testing and approvals, as well as clinical training in administering the vaccine. So far, she has supported vaccination centres at Heathrow, Queen Mary’s Hospital in Roehampton, Sandown Racecourse and a local pharmacy.

Florentine is part of nearly 30,000 St John Ambulance volunteers supporting the NHS to deliver the national vaccination programme.