The pop-up vaccination centre, open for one day at the UCKG’s Catford HelpCentre on Saturday 17 July, was highly praised by local dignitaries.
In just four hours 227 people received jabs at the pop-up, which was open for all, including attendees at the HelpCentre’s weekly soup kitchen, the church’s members and anyone simply walking in off the street. Both first and second vaccinations were administered by medical staff from the NHS South East London Clinical Commissioning Group.
Keen to be involved with local community activities, both Lewisham East’s MP, Janet Daby and Councillor Brenda Dacres, deputy mayor of Lewisham and cabinet member for safer communities, came along and were highly complimentary.
Janet Daby MP was impressed to see “an organisation of faith opening its doors to work with the NHS, the local council and all the local teams that are supporting people to get vaccinated”. She had a very specific appeal to the local community, she said: “As a black MP I want to encourage you and particularly those from the black background to have your vaccine, its safe, it will help and it will protect you.”
She emphasised the convenience of a pop-up for people who have work or childcare commitments or who are reluctant to travel to a medical centre, and praised the high visibility of the location. “It’s been thought through as a vaccine centre because it’s visual, people can see it, they can see the queues. It’s absolutely the right place, I know the church wants to be the heart of the community and they have achieved that.” she said.
Councillor Brenda Dacres commented that the event was: “Uplifting, it’s great to see so many people getting their vaccination, whether a first dose or second, and each vaccination makes our community a little bit safer and stronger, heading towards normality.”
She was also complimentary about the Q&A session at the HelpCentre the previous week, where people could ask questions and allay their fears.
Sarah Van-Spall, a local care co-ordinator from Downham Vaccination Centre who worked with the UCKG on behalf of the NHS said: “The day was something amazing. We’ve had a really good turn out so it’s been absolutely worthwhile.”
The clinic was sponsored by the Co-op supermarket who provided light refreshments and drinks for everyone who came to receive their vaccination.
Notes to editors
UCKG is a Christian church and registered charity that offers a range of practical support activities alongside spiritual support and comfort and welcomes all- comers. It reached the UK in 1995 and has gone from strength to strength, providing support and spreading the Christian faith. There are UCKG HelpCentre branches in England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland.
For further information please contact the UCKG HelpCentre Press Officer via e-mail on firstname.lastname@example.org or direct line 020 7686 6033.