By the end of October, over 30 St Andrew’s First Aid volunteers will have logged 500 hours assisting Scottish health boards administer flu vaccines to those in our communities most at risk.
As the pandemic rolls into the winter months, the Scottish Government expanded who is eligible for a free flu vaccine.
To adhere to Covid-19 restrictions, walk-in and drive in centres have been set up in communities using local facilities as an alternative to GP surgeries. Health teams – including St Andrew’s First Aid volunteers – worked to administer flu jabs at care homes and essential council offices in Ayrshire and Arran, including Millport and Arran.
St Andrew’s First Aid provided local health boards with mobile first aid posts (MFAPs), with volunteers on hand to assist and provide any necessary first aid.
At the moment, the flu jab is available to: health and social care workers, primary school children and those aged two to five, as well as those aged 65 and over and anyone living in the same home as people previously shielding from COVID-19.
Kenneth Millar (pictured), Depute Commandant for Ayr and Troon, said:
“It is a great privilege to be out volunteering and contributing during the pandemic.
“We assisted the flu clinics in Ayrshire, covering care homes and council offices. At a pop-up clinic at Ayrshire Central Hospital, we managed to administer 108 flu jabs in a single day. During these unprecedented times, it is great that the flu jab is available for more people.”
“Volunteering at the clinics is an example of how we have adapted our duties due to the pandemic.
“Before lockdown, my duties were mainly centred around the Ayr United FC and the Ayr Racecourse. The Scottish International Airshow in Ayr was our biggest event to cover -180,000 people visit over the weekend – with St Andrew’s First Aid volunteers stepping in from Glasgow, Lanarkshire and further afield.
“It’s surreal volunteering without the crowds, the atmosphere and energy isn’t the same. However, safety must come first – these precautions are necessary.
“Now our duties at the racecourse and football club involve asking Covid-19 screening questions and conducting temperature checks.”
Kenneth has volunteered for St Andrew’s First Aid for five years, starting off as a driver, then a first aider. He has now advanced to the Depute Commandant of the Ayr and Troon volunteer group.
Kenneth continued: “As a volunteer, you build up a great relationship with the local community.
”Volunteers out on duty and interacting really integrates everyone and helps with mental health.”