Salvation Army joins COVID-19 vaccination drive
published on 20 Jan 2021
Across the country Salvation Army churches and community centres are being offered for use as vaccination hubs.
The first two centres to open were at Lower Earley near Reading and at Shoeburyness in Essex.
Roger Coates, the Leader of The Salvation Army in Lower Earley, Reading, said: “We help vulnerable people all year round, some of whom will be among the first groups to be offered the vaccinations.
“It’s only right that we offer our building, with which we have been blessed, to help in the fight against this deadly disease that has caused so much loss and devastation in our communities this past year”.
Church leaders will also offer pastoral support to NHS staff, volunteers and members of the public who may need some emotional support.
Additionally, Lieutenant Daniel Holland, The Salvation Army’s Assistant Regional Homelessness Manager for London and a registered nurse, has completed training to carry out vaccinations. Daniel is volunteering to cover vaccination shifts at GP surgeries or other centres close to his home in Ilford at weekends.
He said: "The quicker we are all vaccinated, the safer we will all be and the quicker we can all start to get back to normal. This is one way I can play my part to help with that."
As well as providing buildings and volunteers there are also Salvationists who are involved in the vaccination programme through their jobs in the health service. One of these is Charlotte Sharman, a member of Regent Hall corps (church), who works as a practice nurse.
She said: “When I went into the care home, everyone told me how happy they were to be receiving the vaccines so that life could start to get back to normal. I was on such a high that day when I got home knowing that I had helped the residents move a step closer to being able to see their families again.
“It is such a blessing to be a part of helping our communities get back to normal and to be helping protect the most vulnerable. I feel privileged to be involved in this work.”