Pendle MP rolls his sleeves up as volunteer vaccinator

Pendle MP Andrew Stephenson has taken on a new role as a volunteer vaccinator helping at the Covid-19 Mass Vaccination Site at Blackburn Cathedral.

Mr Stephenson has volunteered as a community first responder with the North West Ambulance Service since 2014. Alongside his role as the Pendle MP and a transport minister, he has undertaken over 1,000 hours of volunteering since the Covid-19 outbreak started.

This has included helping with Covid-19 testing, packing PPE for ambulance crews, running welfare vehicles at local A&E Departments and assisting Covid-19 patients in their own home before an ambulance arrives.

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Mr Stephenson who was working at the Blackburn Cathedral vaccination centre when the recent 20 million vaccination milestone was hit, described the experience as "a privilege."

Pendle MP Andrew Stephenson has been working as a vaccinator at Blackburn Cathedral

He said: “I am proud to be playing my part in the incredible vaccine roll out. It is a real privilege to be able to work alongside our NHS staff, St John's Ambulance Service volunteers and the Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service.

"There are many retired nurses and other health care professionals who have answered the call to help out and it’s amazing what has been achieved.The mood in all the local vaccination centres is really positive as every jab makes a difference in our battle against Covid-19. I urge everyone to take up the offer of a vaccine when contacted.”

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Paying tribute to the Pendle MP in a tweet the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Matt Hancock, said “20 million jabs would be impossible without a team of volunteers – including @Andrew4Pendle who has trained up as a vaccinator.”

Mr Stephenson added: “I started volunteering with the NHS seven years ago, which meant I was well placed to help with the local response to Covid-19.

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"I feel that volunteers have played a key role in supporting our NHS staff through an incredibly difficult period and I pay tribute to everyone who has got involved. We all just need to continue playing our part to finally defeat Covid-19 and the vaccination roll out is such an important part of that.”