KATE Foster, a quality and compliance manager for Oldham Community Leisure, has swapped her desk and clip board for PPE and syringes.
While furloughed, Kate, 37, retrained with St John’s Ambulance and is now qualified to administer the Covid-19 vaccine for residents across Greater Manchester.
Her normal day job is managing the health and safety and legal compliance of Oldham’s leisure centres.
“But when I saw the vaccination volunteer role advertised I felt I would be perfect,” she said.
“I meet the academic criteria plus I am 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 while furloughed. I’m passionate about our community and want to give something back.”
Kate, who has worked for OCL for 14 years, completed the St John’s Ambulance and NHS blended training modules.
These combine both online and face to face training and are assessed throughout. Kate achieved an outstanding 98.3 per cent assessment mark.
She added: “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 said: ”Kate 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.
Additionally, Oldham Leisure Centre is now a venue for the NHS to administer vaccinations and rapid COVID-19 testing hub.
Said Simon: “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.”