2nd February 2021 — Churcher's College Sixth Form students and aspiring medics, Ben Botham and Ellie Houghton, have successfully participated in the Winchester Rural North & East Primary Care Network’s Covid-19 Vaccination Programme.
This valuable volunteering opportunity was seized upon by the students who both have ambitions to become doctors and wished to gain vital hands-on work experience for their chosen medical career paths.
To date, Ben and Ellie have completed three full days volunteering for the vaccination programme and have found the work to be both hugely rewarding and exhausting, perhaps affording them a glimpse into the real world of medicine.
Undeterred, they are heading back to the centre over the forthcoming weeks to continue volunteering in the vaccination programme.
Ben, who is studying Chemistry, Biology and Psychology at A Level, commented: "It has been an incredible opportunity to be involved in the Covid-19 vaccination programme and I'm really glad to be of help. I think I will always look back on this experience as one I can be proud of in the fight against the virus."
Ellie, who is studying Chemistry, Biology and Physics at A Level, added: "It feels really good to have such a positive impact on people's lives and to help them see their loved ones again."
The opportunity to volunteer for the vaccination programme materialised after Ben spoke to a local GP and offered his time, should an opportunity arise.
It became apparent that there was a shortage of staff able to administer the vaccine on Christmas Eve, during the first week of the programme.
Special permission was granted for Ben and Ellie from the head of the network, pending training and passing the exams in the required 'E Learning for Health' modules for coronavirus and advanced information for vaccinators.
They also undertook modules and exams on anaphylaxis training, all of which they accomplished successfully.
Ben and Ellie have proven themselves to be of invaluable help to the network and have even received a thank you from the head of the network for the part they played within the team who gave out the vaccines recently – over 1,270 individuals received the vaccine in 2.5 days – 560 on the days that Ellie and Ben worked.