At an event on Friday 18 March, Oldham’s Community Champions gathered at a celebratory event to thank them for all the work they’ve done during the Covid pandemic.
The Community Champions programme first came together at the start of the Covid pandemic as funding for voluntary groups across England to expand work to support those most at risk from COVID-19 and boost vaccine take up.
It’s now been two years since the first UK lockdown and in Oldham, the champions have worked tirelessly having conversations in their community and encouraging people to get vaccinated.
Laura Windsor-Welsh, Strategic Locality Lead for Action Together in Oldham has worked closely with the Champions and had this to say: “I can’t say enough how vital the Community Champions have been in our efforts to keep people safe from Covid. They’ve given up their time to be advocates in their communities and have had a massive impact. It’s been a pleasure to have this great network of people develop over the two years.
“This doesn’t mark the end of the champions programme so I look forward to continuing to work with all of the groups involved.”
Oldham Council Leader Arooj Shah attended the event and said: “Our Community Champions have played a core part in Oldham’s covid response and I can’t thank them enough for that.
“They’ve been with us every step of the way and continue to show us why working closely with our community is so important. I appreciate all of the work they’ve done and continue to do.”
With the help of the Community Champions Oldham’s Covid response continues. In a report at a council meeting on Wednesday 16 March, it was noted that Covid is very much still here and that increasing vaccination uptake remains the primary focus of the local response. Over 168,000 Oldham residents have received their first doses (77.2% of Oldham’s eligible population) and over 156,000 have received second doses (71.7% of Oldham’s eligible population), with an additional 110,370 booster shots or third doses delivered (54.4% of Oldham’s eligible population).
Getting vaccinated remains the best way to protect yourself from the worst effects of the virus. If you’ve yet to have your first, second or third jab then find the nearest centre or book an appointment at www.nhs.uk/covid-booster