Honley Vaccine Centre helping the fight against Covid
A community coming together:
Honley Covid Vaccination Centre opened its doors at the Village Hall on the 28 January. In the 12 weeks since, almost 18,000 people from Honley and surrounding areas have been vaccinated against Covid-19.
The centre is operated by Medicare in association with Friends of Honley who are helped by an army of volunteers, most of whom live in the village or Holme Valley. Sylvia Sellen, Friends of Honley Chair, said:
“There’s such a great community spirit at the centre. So many local people have generously donated their time to help make this happen. It’s a great team with everyone working towards the same goal: vaccinating our way out of lockdown.”
The caring and professional atmosphere comes across loud and clear. People can book their jab at Honley Covid Vaccination Centre from a 30-mile radius. Whether they’re from Barnsley, Rotherham, Ilkley or Greenfield, the team’s goal is to ensure that each patient receives a consistent experience. The over-riding sentiment from those visiting Honley for the first time is ‘how lovely’ the village is, ‘how friendly’ people are, and ‘we’ll be back to see more’ when lockdown eases.
A welcome relief
The atmosphere at the vaccination clinic has changed over the weeks, but there remains a sense of nervous excitement. In the early days, when the over 80-year-olds were attending, it was the first time that some of them had been anywhere for almost a year. Volunteer, Cheryl Booth said that one of her favourite days working at the centre was the day it snowed heavily:
“It was freezing, but we had people in their 80s and 90s walking to the centre just to get their jab. They were so happy that they were finally getting their vaccine they weren’t going to let the bad weather stop them. On the way out, many were saying how they couldn’t wait to see their families and grandchildren again now that they were vaccinated. It was such an emotional day and one I’ll never forget.”
The team are now vaccinating individuals aged 45+ as well as providing second vaccines. While in general, people are more confident, there are still those with worries and concerns but the team is on hand to listen.
Honley is the only community vaccination centre to offer a telephone support team. The line is staffed by volunteers and is open 6 days each week, Monday to Saturday on 07724 520227.
A true village effort
Local businesses also stepped up to the plate to support the Honley Covid Vaccination Centre. Getting the centre up and running required the skills of local businesses, Evolve Electrical, CAT Alarms and Pymroyd Services, who respectively, upgraded the electrics and security and cleaned everything that didn’t move (outside and in!).
“Honley is doing the right thing for both our community and our neighbours and I’ve been delighted to have been able to help.”
Now, fully operational, the team are supported by Richard Swales, manager of the Co-op on Westgate , who is a frequent visitor with donations of sweets, cups, coffee and tea. He even supplied the Village Hall with ‘wet floor’ signs when the roof started leaking. He’s also set up an in-store service to help book customers on to the NHS Online system. Nothing has been too much trouble for Richard.
Meanwhile, Punch Group donated their full stock of catering supplies. Wired Coffee & Cake opened their café on Church Street on their day off to provide volunteers with a free cuppa to keep them going. Blue Tiger also turned up with their amazing Indian cuisine to keep volunteers well fed.
The vaccination centre is also doing its bit to promote Honley village and local businesses. After the jab, it’s important to wait 15 minutes before driving. While they wait, volunteers are directing people into our village to browse the shops and enjoy a takeaway cuppa from one of our coffee shops and food stores, including Wired Coffee and Cake, Taylors, Café Loom and Gallery Café.
How to book your jab at Honley Covid Vaccination Centre
The Honley Vaccination Centre is operated by Medicare in association with Friends of Honley, on behalf of the NHS. All vaccines must be booked in advance via the NHS website.
To see if you’re eligible to book a vaccine, visit the NHS website and enter your details.