Coronavirus vaccination arrangements – how to help those without transport

A vaccination centre has been set up at Tennants in Leyburn which will operate briefly before Christmas.  This is operated through the Heartbeat Alliance, which is the federation of Primary Care Networks across Whitby, Hambleton and Richmondshire.

We understand that they have recruited sufficient volunteer stewards and marshals via an existing support group.  This support group may need more volunteers in future however as the vaccines become more widely available, but at the present time they are fully subscribed.

Cllr Byford has sought clarification on how this will work going forwards.  Whilst there is some coordination between the Heartbeat Alliance and the Leyburn hub system, which is one of 23 set up by NYCC, they are separate initiatives with their own lists of volunteers.

The volunteers that the Town Council and the joint Rectors work with have a primary role within Middleham, as and when requested, to check on residents, run errands and provide transport.  Our volunteer group works in conjunction with the Leyburn hub.

We understand that the initial invitations for vaccination will be sent to the more mobile members of the aged 80+ cohort who will probably be able to get to Tennants under their own steam.

When the vaccination programme gets fully under way in the New Year, it is likely to operate much more intensively – possibly 6 days per week.  At that point there is likely to be an increased demand for transporting Middleham residents, which we shall coordinate.

We now have contact with the Heartbeat Alliance support group. If you would like to volunteer for stewarding/marshalling at future vaccination events at Tennants, please let our Clerk know and we will put you in touch with their Coordinator.

The coordinators of both Heartbeat Alliance and the Leyburn hub have asked us to write to our local volunteers to say that our primary role should remain to local support initiatives, particularly community transport.

We have also been asked to emphasise that anyone already closely linked to supporting a vulnerable person should make sure they are not exposed to additional risk by their volunteering activity.