Culture Warrington applauds volunteering staff in Volunteers Week

This week, charities and organisations across the UK are celebrating Volunteers Week and we’d like to say a huge thank you to our volunteers, as well as our furloughed staff who have been volunteering to help others during the pandemic.

We caught up with Warrington Museum & Art Gallery’s collections assistant Hannah White to find out more about her volunteering experience.

Which organisation do you volunteer for?
Warrington Voluntary Action

What is your role there?Hannah White volunteering at COVID Vaccination Centre
COVID 19 NHS Vaccination Programme Marshal

What does this involve?
I assist in the coordination and processing of people attending vaccination centres in Warrington for their COVID 19 injections. This involves directing people to seating areas and vaccination pods, controlling traffic outside the centres, and providing support to people who may be feeling anxious during their visit. I have volunteered for four months on the vaccination programme, which in January consisted of standing out in thick snow, and on an average shift processing about 500 attendees. ​

What made you decide to sign up as a volunteer?
I was looking for something positive to do whilst I was furloughed and felt that this role would allow me to contribute to the vaccination programme and would also provide me with a structure and focus to my time during lockdown.

What do you enjoy most about volunteering?

The most enjoyable aspects of volunteering have been the opportunity to help people feel better and to work with some truly inspirational NHS medical staff and volunteers.

Has the experience changed you at all?

The commitment and compassion that I observed at the vaccination centres over the past few months, has completely changed my outlook on life. At times, I have found it emotionally challenging. Hearing people’s stories of not leaving their house for over a year due to shielding or battling existing health conditions was incredibly humbling and sometimes difficult to process with no medical training.

I think that I have probably changed as a person; I’ve grown in confidence in overcoming fears and facing new challenges, but mainly just remembering to be so grateful and thankful for everything that we have in life.