A range of crucial volunteer roles form a key part of the Covid-19 vaccination team, including guiding people at vaccination sites, transporting patients and medicine, supporting those self isolating and administering the jab.
Brands including BT, BA, Morrisons, Wetherspoons, Paddy Power, Sky, Hilton, Pure Gyms, TUI, Frankie & Benny’s, UKactive gyms, Vue Cinemas, Bentley, Greene King and Young’s have already pledged their support to The Sun’s appeal, encouraging their huge combined workforce of more than half a million workers to volunteer as stewards, whilst donating unused spaces to help with the biggest vaccination programme in British history.
Thousands now stand ready to join the 22,000 Sun readers who have already officially signed to become volunteers to make sure jab centres run smoothly, say the publishers.
A recent report by Foresight Factory has shown that public-spirited attitudes have increased during the pandemic, creating a new public spirited consumer tribe for brands to engage with.
Greene King has 2,750 UK pubs, restaurants and hotels. After The Sun approached the chain it has pledged to make its car parks close to vaccination centres available as part of the national effort.
Greene King CEO Nick Mackenzie said: “We want to play our part in supporting the NHS vaccination programme and The Sun’s Jabs Army campaign is a clear way for us to do this.
“Pubs are the heartbeat of communities and while they’re sadly closed due to lockdown, many of our furloughed team members want to continue to support their communities.
Morrison’s CEO David Potts said: “We support this great initiative from The Sun wholeheartedly. We’re continuing to put our assets at the disposal of the nation and will help Jabs Army in any way we can.
“From use of our car parks to a cup of tea - Morrisons will be there for you and I’m very happy to volunteer to help in any way myself.”
Louise Evans, Director of External Communications and Sustainability at BA said: “Last time Britain found itself in a lockdown situation hundreds of our people including pilots, cabin crew, engineers, customer service and head office teams volunteered to help with the national effort. We are pleased to be able to offer our support again and to be part of The Sun’s campaign to recruit as many volunteers as Possible.”
Bosses at Paddy Power offered the use of their currently-closed bookie shops as temporary vaccination centres. A spokesman said: “The sooner we can all get vaccinated, the sooner we can get back to our lives – seeing family, and then promptly escaping them again at the football or the pub.
“But, seriously, if we can play even a small role in getting the country back on its feet, we’d be very proud. So we are offering the use of our 345 Paddy Power shops, and the staff who work in them, across the country.”
The NHS backed campaign has been praised by Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who hailed it as a “fantastic initiative”, along with Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer who said it was “another chance for all of us to do our bit to support the vaccine effort and defeat this virus.” Bear Grylls has urged former Scouts to become part of the scheme, along with other stars who have backed the campaign including Gary Lineker, Jeremy Clarkson, Matt Lucas, Gordon Ramsay and Piers Morgan.
Sun Editor-in-Chief Victoria Newton said: “This is one of the most important campaigns The Sun has ever run. Never has the country needed our brilliant loyal readers more.
“I will be volunteering, along with other members of The Sun’s staff and we are calling on Britain’s biggest brands to get involved and back the campaign in any way they can.”
Volunteers for The Sun Jabs Army are being asked to register online at nhsvolunteerresponders.org.uk.
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