Monthly Archives: April 2021

Meet our Covid-19 vaccination centre volunteers – Atim Blossom

Our North Southwark Primary Care Network has a vibrant community of volunteers working at our covid – 19 vaccination centre, including 25 marshals. Since the start of the covid-19 vaccination programme our volunteer marshals have worked over 850 hours and thanks to them and the rest of our volunteers (receptionists, vaccinators and managers) we have vaccinated over 33,500 people in north Southwark including delivering over 8,500 second doses. By the end of March 2021, Atim Blossom had volunteered 71 hours of her time and continues to do so.

 

Atim Blossom- vaccine centre marshal

My name is Atim Blossom Otuodung. I am an Administrative Secretary with the R. C Archdiocese of Southwark. I am also a lawyer with an LLB Law degree.

My role at the vaccination centre is that of volunteer marshal. The role offers me the chance to give back to the community. It gives me so much joy to contribute my time, skills and experience to an organization to help people. This experience has enabled me get to really get involved with my community and its people.

I usually work between two to three shifts a week.  I work almost every week depending on how fast I can grab a shift, as it’s what I enjoy doing.

What I enjoy most is being able to put smiles on people’s faces. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting people from all walks of life and from different backgrounds. We work very collaboratively, it’s been a great team and I really enjoy coming here. Everyone is working very hard and we are all doing something together for the good of the people. Everybody is so positive and very helpful. The atmosphere is one of joy and love, and at times everyone starts dancing with love and the patients will smile. Oh, how this makes me feel so good! I’m very grateful to be given this opportunity to help my local community.

 

Benefits to our north Soutwark patients

I think the centre and the vaccine really creates in the residents of north Southwark that bond of relationship and trust – the residents are treated nicely and with so much love even while receiving the vaccine. For me, the motivation is that of making a difference and it’s been an absolute privilege to know that the Artesian Health Centre is one of the best.

We’ve had people come in to tell us how they are seen quickly due to the great team and it being incredibly well organised. Everybody is working hard to make everyone safe and everyone covering for each other. The patients coming through seem so happy and grateful. The positivity is overwhelming – people come and say thank you at the end of their vaccination with smiles. Oh, how their smiles of gratitude melt my heart!

 

What are the challenges of working here?

For me, there are no challenges of volunteering here at the Artesian Health Centre. It’s been a smooth operation as far as I’m concerned. All I came here to do is to help people and to put smiles on their beautiful faces, knowing how difficult the times are now. It’s always been my joy to see people happy.

 

Have you had your vaccine?

Yes, I have received my own vaccine. I would say to people who are nervous that they shouldn’t be, there is no need to be afraid, the vaccine is safe. I would also advise that they stop listening to negative vibes about this vaccine and instead focus their energy in the positive effects of having the vaccine.

I would also encourage them to take their vaccine knowing that vaccines are the most effective way to prevent infectious diseases. I’ve had lots of people approach me to ask if it’s safe and all I keep telling them is YES, that I have taken my own shot and I encourage them to take theirs, as this will help each and every one of us stay safe and stay alive.

 

Meet our covid-19 vaccination centre volunteers – Grace

Our North Southwark Primary Care Network has a vibrant community of volunteers working at our covid – 19 vaccination centre, including 25 marshals. Since the start of the covid-19 vaccination programme our volunteer marshals have worked over 850 hours and thanks to them and the rest of our volunteers (receptionists, vaccinators and managers) we have vaccinated over 27,000 people in north Southwark. Over the next month we will hear from two volunteer marshals and a marshal from New Mill Street Surgery.

Grace – lead marshal

My name is Grace and I am the Lead Marshall at the Artesian Vaccination Centre. I am working four days a week, mostly from Wednesday to Saturday. I have been assigned from New Mill Street Surgery to give all my support to this vaccination centre.

My daily role is to make sure everything runs smoothly during the operation hours of the clinic. Some of my tasks include:

  • Making sure the waiting room is clean and when patients arrive, I show them where to sit and direct them to the vaccination room.
  • Train, manage and supervise all marshals.
  • Helping the operation lead in managing and monitoring the vaccines we distribute to the vaccinator, as well as managing the vaccine levels that are going to be use in that day.
  • Making sure the vaccinators have all the things they need such as syringes, vaccination cards, cotton wools, sharps bin, alcohol wipes, pens and markers.
  • Helping receptionists to check patients into the system, booking appointments for patients for the vaccination.
  • Helping the vaccinator in tracing the patient in the computer system.

Since I started working here our team is actively sending invites, calling patients including housebound patients who are eligible to receive the vaccine. In average we had between 350 to 500 patients everyday coming to have their vaccination in our clinic. Once we had a ‘Super Saturday’ with nearly 800 patients coming for their vaccination.

I love working here because I get to meet lots of people (patients, volunteers, GP, nurses) from different backgrounds. I guess this because I have spent most of my life away from my home country, Indonesia. I studied in Amsterdam, graduated in Bachelor of Business Administration. I lived there for over 10 years where I met lots of people from different places and background. Then I got married and moved to UK.

What are the challenges of working here?

  • Getting to know the people you are working with. I have to remember lots of names either operation leads, doctors, pharmacists, marshals, receptionist, paramedics, health assistants, security staff and all people involved in the clinic. To have a good team working well together we have to know each other names, get to know each other a bit and also getting to know how they like their tea/coffee being served haha!
  • Having to have a lot of patience and being open minded. Every person is unique and will always have different opinions, including the patients.

Have you had your vaccine?

I have had both of my vaccines. To all the people out there who are feeling nervous about it, please do not listen / read too much of the news, which may make you more nervous. Please book for yourself to get vaccinated as soon as possible. Protect yourself and the people around you!