OCL’s Quality and Compliance Manager volunteers to vaccinate Greater Manchester community
Kate Foster, Oldham Community Leisure’s (OCL) Quality and Compliance Manager, has swapped her desk and clip board for PPE and syringes, retraining whilst furloughed to administer the COVID-19 vaccine for the people of Greater Manchester.
Kate, 37, has worked for OCL for 14 years. Her normal day job is managing the health and safety and legal compliance of Oldham’s leisure centres, but she jumped at the chance to retrain with St John’s Ambulance whilst the leisure centres remain closed.
Kate says: “I saw the vaccination volunteer role advertised and felt I would be perfect. Not only did I meet the academic criteria, but I am also a qualified first aid trainer, a qualified counsellor and have familiarity around needles and injections, as I’ve helped to support my niece who is diabetic.
“It’s really important to me that I keep busy whilst furloughed. I’m passionate about our community and want to give something back.”
Kate completed the St John’s Ambulance and NHS blended training modules, which combine both online and face to face training and are assessed throughout, becoming successfully certified to deliver the COVID-19 vaccine, with an outstanding 98.3 per cent assessment mark. The training covers everything from data protection and confidentiality to vaccination storage, vaccine administration, anaphylaxis and core COVID-19 knowledge.
Kate says: “It’s important when administering a vaccine that not only are you clinically capable, but that you also have the confidence and ability to speak to people, listen to what they might be saying and reassure them. The training was very thorough and along with my DBS check, I’m now certified and happy to start volunteering at one of the Greater Manchester vaccine hubs.”
Simon Blair, Head of Business Development, OCL says: “I’m extremely proud of Kate. She is a fantastic member of our team. She always goes above and beyond in everything she does. Retraining to administer the COVID-19 vaccine is testament to her character and to her passion for the people of Greater Manchester.”
In addition to volunteering for the vaccination hubs, Kate will also be supporting the NHS as a rapid COVID-19 tester. Rapid regular testing is for people without COVID-19 symptoms and will be available to anyone working with the public, working in a shared workplace or who is a key worker. These tests are a key feature to managing and containing the spread of the virus.
Simon Blair concludes: “OCL has worked tirelessly throughout the pandemic to support the community at every level. We were approached by the NHS to help with vaccinations and COVID-19 testing and we immediately offered our venues.
“Oldham Leisure Centre will be used as both a vaccination and rapid testing hub for Greater Manchester. Our leisure centre is large and spacious and already has protocols and health and safety procedures in place to keep people socially distanced and safe. It’s really important our community use the rapid testing facilities and take up the vaccinations when offered, as this will help manage the control of COVID-19, helping us all to get back to some type of normal sooner.”