Council leader offers to take fellow villagers to vaccination appointments

A council leader has offered to take elderly villagers to their Covid vaccination appointments if they are unable to manage the 20-mile round trip on their own.

Stafford Borough Council Leader Patrick Farrington.
Stafford Borough Council Leader Patrick Farrington.

Staffordshire County Showground is being used as a vaccination centre for residents across Stafford Borough and the first jabs were given there in December.

But concerns have been raised that over 80s currently being offered appointments at the rural venue, located between Stafford and Weston, may struggle to get there if they do not drive, have a friend or relative to take them there or access to public transport.

In Gnosall – 10 miles away from the County Showground – help is at hand from fellow parishioners however.

The Gnosall parish hotline, which was set up to assist residents during the first national lockdown, has already received three requests for transport to the vaccination hub.

And Stafford Borough Council leader Patrick Farrington, who lives in the parish, could be one of the volunteers to offer a helping set of wheels.

Speaking at this month’s Gnosall Parish Council meeting he said: “I would like to put my services forward if you need anybody locally. If I’m available I would be happy to take anybody to the showground.”

The parish hotline was inundated with requests for assistance such as shopping and prescription collection after the country first went into lockdown back in March.

Other support provided by community-spirited Gnosall residents has included homemade meals delivered to elderly and vulnerable villages and telephone chats for anyone feeling lonely.

With the country plunged into a third lockdown at the start of this month, the parish council reminded residents the hotline is still open for anyone in the area in need of support.

The village’s Grosvenor Centre was also put forward as a possible venue for vaccinations if needed by the NHS, the meeting heard.

Parish council clerk Jayne Cooper said: “I have a feeling we will be getting more calls for help for transport to the County Showground. We will manage that when that happens.

“I will be putting the hotline number on Facebook. The hotline is quiet – it does ring occasionally – but I have a feeling it may get busier if restrictions get tighter.”

Gnosall parish residents in need of assistance during the latest lockdown can call the hotline on 07947 104411.

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