I am sure that within the membership of All Terrain UK, there will be several members like me who also use their vehicles in a volunteering role with a local 4×4 response group.
The group with which I volunteer, Beds and Cambs 4×4 response CIO was pleased to be asked to supply volunteers to work alongside British Red Cross, and Cambridgeshire search and rescue, in helping to manage the logistics for a GP led mass vaccination session in North Cambridgeshire.
It is said that “there is no such thing as bad weather, just inappropriate clothing” and Saturday proved this once and for all! ATUK Member and our National H&S Officer joined other BC4X4R volunteers and turned out early in the morning in snow and heavy rain meeting up with volunteers from other volunteer groups, British Red Cross and Cambridgeshire Search ad Rescue (CamSAR)
Our “very appropriate clothing” proved ideal for the conditions with Alan counting 8 layers at one point, and hi-vis waterproof over trousers proving their worth too! The team quickly established a one way pedestrian and queuing system, with space for social distancing and arrangements for managing traffic with limited car parking, the logistics and radio communications experience of BC4X4R proved invaluable. A good multi organisation group of volunteers worked well all day so that by 630pm around 500 vaccinations had been given to a range of elderly, vulnerable people and also a good number of NHS staff needing this crucial protection.
Plenty of good natured banter across the team kept everyone cheerful, with the sun even putting in a brief appearance during the lunch break allowing a Land Rover Defender style “wing top” picnic! Spirits were good all day despite the atrocious weather conditions with patients thanking everyone continuously and complimenting the way the event was organised. The joy at getting a chance to receive the vaccine was matched by what was a first trip out of home for a while for most folk.
Many more volunteers from our groups will be continuing to support this vital work for the rest of the week, with the centre aiming to provide around 4,000 vaccines during this time. The work followed on from the excellent work undertaken on more usual 4×4 response work supporting flood emergencies across Beds and Cambs during the Christmas flooding in 2020.”