Salvation Army centre joins mass vaccination effort

published on 12 Jan 2021

Local people are being invited for vaccination by a health team working out of The Salvation Army church in Lower Earley near Reading.

The rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine to the first patients started on Wednesday 6 January with people receiving their first jabs that evening.

The church and charity’s officers (ministers) based at the centre on Chalfont Close were moved to temporarily offer the site for use by their neighbouring GP practice due to their work with vulnerable people in the community.

The church hall is suitable for the vaccination programme because it allows plenty of space for social distancing alongside accommodating a one-way system for patients to help with COVID-security.

Vaccination area within the church building

Leader of The Salvation Army in Lower Earley, Reading, Roger Coates said: “When we heard the Government announcement about the rollout of the vaccination through GP surgeries, we were moved to ask our neighbouring practice if they needed assistance.

“Chalfont surgery had been praying for a suitable space for running the operation safely and we were more than happy to help. We help vulnerable people all year round, some of which will be among the first groups to be offered the vaccinations.

“It’s only right that we offer our building which we have been blessed with to help in the fight against this deadly disease that has caused so much loss and devastation in our communities this past year.”

People entering the building, socially distancing.

The church building will be used for the foreseeable future as a vaccination clinic. The church moved its regular worship services online last year and the church leaders will also offer pastoral support to the GP surgery staff, volunteers and members of the public who may wish to talk about their emotional or spiritual well-being.

Roger added: “This is very much a partnership between The Salvation Army, the GP practice and the local council who are providing volunteers for the operation.”

    Waiting area

    Additional information

    • The vaccinations will usually be held Monday – Friday at The Salvation Army building between 830am-8pm and on Saturdays at the Chalfont surgery and people must be invited to attend by the health service.
    • The church leaders, Roger and Jacqueline Coates joined the church in Reading, Lower Earley in summer 2020.
    A rough sleeper receives hot food and drink

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