Lord Lieutenant of Berkshire, James Puxley, visits Newbury Racecourse Vaccination Centre to thank the team for their efforts in administering the vaccines to prevent coronavirus
LORD Lieutenant of Berkshire James Puxley paid a visit to the vaccination centre at Newbury Racecourse on Wednesday last week to thank the volunteers and staff for their collective effort.
Mr Puxley visited on a day when the centre was aiming to administer the vaccine to a record 1,700 patients in one day.
He met with the lead volunteers and some of the Volunteers of the Week before talking with patients who were having their second jabs.
He said: “It’s wonderful to see such a well-organised operation and the overwhelming impression you get is how upbeat everyone is and the sense of community spirit.
“It’s a very British thing – rising to the occasion – and it is very apparent here and clearly working efficiently."
Working their first shifts on the same day, were two employees from Newbury Racecourse. Marketing and sponsorship director Harriet Collins and head of operations Lucy Hayes have been so impressed by the centre that they wanted to pitch in and do their bit.
Ms Collins said: “It’s been a great experience to actually join in with the volunteer effort – to see the passion and loyalty and commitment. This is a huge operation and it's not easy co-ordinating all these hundreds of people.
"We both came down to the centre on its first day in January and there was a sense of nervousness, but now everyone knows what they are doing and it is a well-oiled machine.”
Talking about the relationship the racecourse has had with the vaccination centre organisers, Lucy Hayes said: “Key to the success has been the communication between us and the team here. It's almost the perfect partnership.
"We have run a couple of race days now while the vaccine effort has continued and it has gone very smoothly.
“We are a business, but we are also pleased to be able to offer the facilities to make this happen.
"It's been great to see the place being used and have a bit life in it.”
Mr Puxley had nothing but praise for the many volunteers, as well as all the surgery staff and medical practitioners who had pulled together to make the vaccination centre work.
He said “This is a brilliant operation and the atmosphere is most uplifting – well done to everyone involved.”