Irene Holden, joint President at Woking District Rotary, said they were approached by the Heathcot Medical Practice to see if the club could help them cope with the rush of patients wanting the injections.
“They surgery decided to make contact to see if we could offer up volunteers to help out with their six-week ‘Drive Through Flu Clinics’ programme commencing from the end of September and going right through into October,” she explained.
“If they couldn’t find the volunteers, then this programme was not going to go ahead. So, in a sense, we came to their rescue.
“Even though there were Rotarians from our club still continuing to help the Woking foodbank with making up and delivering food parcel to those in need, this was another opportunity right up our street.
“It was something we could do to help to the community whilst in lockdown.”
Somewhat bizarrely, the flu clinics were held in a two-tier public car park, so the Rotary volunteers were sheltered from the rain and wind.
The Rotarians were called on to help out for one day a week. That meant finding 20 volunteers were need per day and 120 volunteers over the six- week period.
On each two-hour shift were five volunteers coping with a variety of jobs.
Irene added: “We were checking that the people arriving for the flu injections were from the surgery. We had a few locals who were not with the surgery who decided to try their luck.
The Rotarians were called on to help out for one day a week. That meant finding 20 volunteers were need per day and 120 volunteers over the six- week period.”
“We were making sure they had their QR code ready for their vaccination, making sure they were ‘shoulder ready’ for the injections before being sent to one of the five parking bays which were set up.
“Some Rotarians even had a huge responsibility of standing alongside the duty doctor or nurse to input the correct information regarding their name and vaccination batch code.
“It was a huge task finding the volunteers, but we had many friends to call upon too, from people who we knew in Woking Round Table, Woking 41 Club, Mayford Tangent as well as friends.
“Each volunteer wore their Rotary tabards with pride.”
The Woking Rotarians received front page coverage in the local newspaper, the Woking News & Mail, and even interest from Sky News.
They were thanked for their assistance by Kat Robbings, who works at the Woking surgery and who organised the programme.