Vaccination and the VCS

(Published 29 March)

Image: Patricia Burke receiving her vaccine from Dr Zoe Williams at the Artesian Health Centre.

Health and care partners across Southwark have been working together to rollout the vaccine and as of 25 March, more than 80,000 Southwark residents have been vaccinated across the first nine priority groups who are now eligible. Any updates to eligible cohorts are announced via the NHS South East London CCG website, which also includes comprehensive FAQs and promotional material.

We want to thank the VCS for their support to Southwark’s vaccination programme. Here’s some highlights:

  • A vaccination pop-up clinic took place at Peckham Islamic Centre on 27 March where residents could turn up without an appointment, the need to be registered with a GP or having to show ID
  • We have recruited 78 Community Health Ambassadors in Southwark who have been keeping their communities, neighbours and service users informed and empowered during the pandemic while passing on needs on the ground to Public Health Southwark Council. Over 70% of Ambassadors are staff or volunteers at VCS groups. The Network represents over 17 ethnic backgrounds (with 45% from Black African/ Black Caribbean/ Black British ethnic backgrounds). Ambassadors on average send 50 messages to their networks a month and they also organise webinars and create videos to promote Covid-19 guidance and vaccination.
  • 7 VCS groups have received a VCS Covid-19 Prevention Grant from Southwark Council to run projects that tackle preventing the outbreak and encouraging vaccine takeup – Community Southwark are supporting the organisations so watch this space for more info on the great projects.
  • Regular Covid-19 vaccine briefings for VCS organised by the NHS SEL CCG to discuss how best to work together, understanding residents’ concerns and building trust in communities
  • Monthly Public Health briefings for VCS organised by Mayor of London GLA to discuss how best to keep communities safe and the experiences and needs of the VCS

What’s next?

We’re keen to hear from the VCS in Southwark about what support is needed over the next few months.

  • What support would help you during this time and ensure you can continue to support the prevention of Covid-19 and the uptake of the Covid-19 vaccine?
  • What support would help you to keep your staff and service users safe, and ensure you can continue to provide your valuable services to Southwark?
Do you have ideas for how the VCS sector could be involved?

If support was available, what area would this be most helpful? For example, grant programmes, training programmes, support to translate and adapt communications, support to ensure communications are reaching specific groups and communities?

If you have suggestions, please let us know by emailing: [email protected]