Leaping out of Your Comfort Zone

Written by one of our volunteers:

Throughout the long winter months of lockdown, local Hertfordshire resident Lesley tried to keep herself busy. She bought herself , planned new home projects, and invested in some tapestry making kits and piano music. Although the lockdown was a wonderful opportunity for her to focus on self-development and fulfilling hobbies, she increasingly began to miss her friends and family, and felt an empty space where they should be.

As time went on she came across a post on social media that mentioned Vaccination Centres needing volunteers to support the national effort. As she read a little more about the project, she thought about the difference she could make in helping the country return back to normal. At the very least she felt it would be a path to meeting lots of new people.

Feeling slightly apprehensive, Lesley signed up to become a Communities 1st Volunteer, and spent a few hours here and there filling in the necessary forms and progressing through the online training. As the day she would begin her volunteering journey dawned she made sure to complete a Covid lateral flow test before awaiting her four-hour shift. She began helping at the pod entrance where her job was to maintain the flow of people from the registration at the front entrance to the vaccination pod.

The system ran like clockwork and where Lesley and her team made mistakes, they were forgiven. After all everyone was so grateful to be having their vaccine, they began to see hope beyond the endless news stories and tier systems. Lesley found it incredibly rewarding seeing the people in their 80’s lining up to get their vaccine, many of whom hadn’t been out of their homes for nearly a year. They thanked Lesley and her team endlessly, there were even tears. Looking back, she wishes she could have hugged them!

Afterwards, she thought about how amazing the experience was, but also how exhausting! When she got home, she fell into bed for a well-deserved night's sleep. The next day however Lesley wondered when her next shift would be. She proceeded to volunteer on many occasions, and found it helpful that she could book in at times convenient for her.

Lesley worked in several roles, trying roles registering, directing and interviewing patients. Each time she would be guided by her supervisor on what role to undertake, but working at the pod entrance remained her favourite, as it provided the social contact that she had missed during COVID. 

Lesley worked with a fantastic team of people at the vaccination centre, ranging from NHS nurses to local government staff and ambulance operators. She felt a true sense of community as they all worked towards one urgent and life-saving objective.


Written by Lesley Williams (Volunteer)