04:16PM, Wednesday 20 January 2021
Teenagers from youth charity Aik Saath have been supporting the rollout of the coronavirus vaccine at the Salt Hill Activity Centre.
The young volunteers have performed a variety of roles including handing out PPE, taking patient details, directing people to vaccine stations and observing vaccinated patients for any adverse side-effects.
A group of 15 helpers from the charity have been working at the venue since December and even more look set to join as the site transforms into a mass vaccination centre.
Volunteer Bilal Jehangir, 16, said: "This pandemic has been challenging for all of us. I feel lucky to have the ability to help the older people in our community to receive the vaccine.
“I have had first hand experience with the virus, taking both of my grandparents from us in April last year.
“I believe wholeheartedly that we will get through this together as one, as a community."
Fellow volunteer Kirthana Balachandran, 17, described the chance to help out as a ‘wonderful opportunity’.
Rob Deeks, chief executive of Aik Saath, said: "The young volunteers have been fantastic.
They are incredibly proud to be playing an active role in the roll out of the vaccine. Many of them have had their lives turned upside down by the crisis, so it means even more to them, to be a part of efforts to end this.
“We want to thank the NHS and everyone involved in the vaccination centre for believing in the young people and seeing their potential, the same way we do."
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