Coronavirus in Portsmouth: Volunteers' pride in helping city reach 100,000 first jabs

SELFLESS volunteers who helped deliver more than 100,000 vaccines to Portsmouth people have shared their pride in ‘being a part of something important’.

Thursday, 22nd April 2021, 4:01 pm
Updated Thursday, 22nd April 2021, 4:08 pm

In vaccine centres across the city volunteers have been there to greet patients, guide them to their appointments and show them the way out.

Husband and wife duo from Emsworth, Peter Martin and Gaby Funke-Martin, rose to the challenge and signed up in February to help with the vaccination process at Lalys Pharmacy in Guildhall Walk, Portsmouth

The pair have given up every Thursday morning to help see patients through the process

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Volunteer Gaby Funke-Martin, 46, at Lalys Pharmacy in Guildhall Walk, Portsmouth. Picture: Sarah Standing (220421-7035)

Peter, 62,said: ‘It's been good to chat to people and people are nice, it's a positive experience.

‘It feels like we are a part of something important, it's nice to be a part of something successful.'

Gaby, 46, added: ‘It's been really good, they're really efficient here and really well organised.

‘It's just great to see all these happy people coming through. Some people are really nervous and I think it's nice to be able to talk to them and make them feel better.’

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Within the first two months of offering the vaccine, staff at Lalys administered more than 10,000 doses.

Baldev Laly, the founder of the pharmacy, said: ‘After receiving the call, we set up our designated vaccination clinic behind the store with its own private entrance, pathway and exit in just a few days, and started vaccinating at the end of January.

‘We are immensely proud of our team, but must also thank the volunteers who have given us invaluable support in welcoming, registering and guiding people when they arrive.

‘Forgotten Veterans UK provided a team of volunteers for the first month, and then Havant Hockey Club has taken over duties to ensure the smooth running of the clinic. It has been a tremendous community effort.

‘The people who have come to us have been so happy and grateful – we have even been receiving thank you cards.

‘Now, as people are returning to us for their second, follow up jabs, there may be a reduction in “new people” receiving their vaccination, but the overall numbers will continue to rise and maintain Portsmouth’s phenomenal achievement.’

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