Parkrun volunteers support the Covid vaccination rollout

Highbury Fields Parkrun volunteers at the Bocking Street Vaccination Centre

Highbury Fields Parkrun volunteers at the Bocking Street Vaccination Centre - Credit: Highbury Fields Parkrun

While the Highbury Fields parkrun is suspended due to lockdown restrictions, volunteers have pitched in to help with the vaccination rollout.

In normal times, volunteers organise the weekly 5K runs, marshalling participants and managing queues, ensuring events run smoothly.

They are now employing their skills to help the NHS, after one of their members, Alex Chase, joined Volunteer Centre Hackney to coordinate the vaccination programme.

Some 20 parkrun members are helping at the Bocking Street vaccination centre in London Fields, and the John Scott Health Centre in Manor House.

“Parkrun members are used to standing in a muddy field outside, in all weathers, working with all members of the community, from those who are running in very quick times to people who are running their very first run and might be a bit nervous,” said Alex. 

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“They are used to talking to people and putting them at ease."

He added: “Some patients are very excited because it’s the first time they’ve been out since last year, some are anxious because they’ve been shielding and they’re very nervous, and they need to be reassured and looked after while they’re with us.

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"That’s what all the volunteers that I’ve been lucky enough to be working with have done and it’s been a brilliant experience.”

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