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.