Backed by the NHS and health secretary Matt Hancock, The Sun is calling for volunteers to join the over 50,000 people needed to assist the rollout of millions of vaccines.
The crucial Steward Volunteer roles will form a key part of the Covid-19 vaccination team, guiding people on site. They will help the vaccination process run safely and efficiently by ensuring social distancing and identifying people who need additional support.
Volunteers need to commit to just two six hour shifts per month at a vaccination service near them and no prior experience or qualifications are required, says The Sun.
“Jabs Army” recruits will sign up through the NHS Volunteer Responder Programme and work as part of a team that will include NHS staff and volunteers.
The Sun has partnered with the Royal Voluntary Service which delivers the programme, along with the GoodSAM app, to support this massive national effort. The publisher will be deploying both The Sun’s print edition and all its digital outlets to help drive recruitment over the coming weeks.
The government wants to see 15 million people immunised by March and local NHS teams will be setting up pop-up vaccination centres-capable of administering thousands of jabs a week in sports halls, conference centres and stadiums up and down the country.
Sun stars including columnist Jeremy Clarkson and other influential voices such as Match of the Day host, Gary Lineker, and Good Morning Britain presenter, Piers Morgan, have already thrown their weight behind the push.
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, ready to do what we can to help us on our road to freedom. No job is too big or too small. Together we can do this to save lives and get Britain back on our feet."
Health Secretary Matt Hancock said: “We all have a role to play in getting through this pandemic. The vaccine is our way out and back to normal life. I want to thank the Sun for launching this fantastic campaign and I urge Sun readers to join the Jabs Army.”
NHS chief executive Sir Simon Stevens said: “The programme, the largest in NHS history, has got off to a great start but having an army of Sun readers standing ready to assist as we step up the delivery of vaccinations as more supplies come on stream in the weeks and months ahead is a welcome boost.”
Royal Voluntary Service Chief Executive Catherine Johnstone said: “The fightback against Covid-19 has now begun. Anyone who steps forward as a Steward Volunteer will be helping to turn the tide on COVID 19 so we can all finally begin to return to normal life. They will be part of an incredible team doing something of historic importance.”
Jeremy Clarkson said: “Saying you won’t take the vaccine is like saying you won’t wear an aqualung when diving. It’s necessary and we should all do our part. I will”.
Gary Lineker said: “This is a terrific and important campaign. The vaccine appears to be the only way out of this desperate situation. Let’s all get together and roll up our sleeves to help everyone roll up their sleeves.”
Piers Morgan said: “This is a brilliant initiative by The Sun that I urge everyone to support and if they can, sign up to participate in. The only way out of this Covid hell is mass vaccination and the more we can all do to help speed up that process the better. Britain should now come together to get this done ASAP.’
The Sun has provided the following instructions on how to sign up:
Volunteers are being asked to first sign up online at nhsvolunteerresponders.org.uk
You will then receive an email with log-in details to sign up online. Finally, you will be asked to download the GoodSam app on a Smartphone which will match you to a role in your area.
Services will be opening in the coming days and weeks with different areas ‘stood up’ at different times. This means you might not be required on site for some weeks. You only need to commit to two 6 hour shifts a months at a vaccination service and no prior experience or qualifications are required. You will work as part of a team that will include NHS staff and volunteers. The Royal Voluntary Service will conduct appropriate background checks.
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