Welwyn Rugby Club scrum down to Roche to lend a helping hand in vaccine drive

Volunteers from Welwyn Rugby Club at Roche.

Volunteers from Welwyn Rugby Club, seen with senior nurse Karen Afford, have been helping out with the COVID-19 vaccinations being conducted at Roche. - Credit: WELWYN RFC

Welwyn Rugby Club are eagerly counting the days until they can get back to the pitch and their clubhouse but they are still making their mark in the town.

A number from the Hobbs Way-based club have been volunteering at the Roche vaccination centre at Shire Park.

They were answering a call from Karen Afford, a former secretary at Welwyn and one of the senior nurses in charge of the centre. She had asked for volunteers to help out with marshalling duties on weekends and the response was fantastic.

They have been working six-hour shifts, either in the morning or the afternoon and have done themselves and the club proud.

Karen said: “The support for the national COVID-19 vaccine is another great example of different organisations coming together and working innovatively to reach out to patients in what has been the busiest ever period in the history of the NHS.

"We would like to thank all the volunteers for their support and help; we could not have done it without them.”

One of the volunteers is Welwyn's chairman, Len Cleary.

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He said: "We pride ourselves as a community club and were delighted to accept the offer and help at our vaccination centre.

"Three online modules needed to be completed as part of the process, which required some study as we needed to pass each module with at least 80 per cent.

"Our fantastic volunteers have worked in bitterly cold conditions and torrential rain, to ensure the public have a safe and positive experience when attending Roche.

"We have proudly worked alongside other voluntary services, like the council and NHS staff, in an attempt to combat the pandemic and allow us to return to normality.

"Since helping at the centre, new friendships have been forged and we look forward to welcoming them to the club for a social evening. It is our way of thanking these great people and the NHS staff who are doing such a fantastic job."

Welwyn's return to rugby begins with a two-day Easter training camp being run by Saracens.

Starting on Wednesday, March 31, it is open to all ages from U7s to U16s with girls up to U18 level also allowed.

To book go to www.Saracens.com/rugbycamps

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