Sunday, 24 October 2021

Sisters volunteer at surgery

Sisters volunteer at surgery

TWO sisters have been volunteering to help administer covid booster jabs at the Hart Surgery in Henley.

Alice and Imi Lowe are the daughters of Jo Lowe, who is a healthcare assistant at the surgery off York Road.

Alice, 25, and Imi, 21, immediately agreed when their mother asked them to help out.

Mrs Lowe, who has worked at the surgery for almost six years, helped administer covid vaccines during the pandemic and is now giving out booster jabs as well as flu jabs.

Her daughters helped to input data and meet and greet patients as they arrived.

Mrs Lowe, who used to be a registered nurse, said: “The practice manager asked if I knew anyone who could help so I thought my
daughters would be delighted to do it. Imi did the data inputting and Alice was meeting and greeting the patients and ensuring they had a mask on before they came in for the jab.

“They really enjoyed it and are keen to help out again. These tasks were not strictly medical but it was something they could easily help with. There has been a lot of volunteering across the nation to get this vaccine into people’s arms , which was great to see.

“The patients who met Alice and Imi seemed really comfortable and there was a lovely atmosphere — everyone seemed happy to be there and happy to proceed with this booster jab. It got the job done.”

The sisters live with Mrs Lowe and her husband Charles in Stoke Row. Alice volunteers with Mencap in Henley while Imi works for Reading charity Make a Wish.

Mrs Lowe added: “It has been a difficult time on so many levels for young people who have just started out in their careers only to see it on pause because of the pandemic. People who are in their twenties in particular, like my daughters, really struggled. We always talk about how the pandemic affected children and the older generations but the twenties cohort was sometimes forgotten.

“I was really proud of my daughters for how they kept going despite everything. During the pandemic they were also caring for their grandparents. They were just amazing and cared deeply for their safety.”

Alice said: “I hope I can volunteer for the surgery again soon as it was a nice opportunity to be able to help. I feel a particular responsibility to help the most vulnerable and it was lovely to meet the patients — their gratitude really inspired me.

“I think it’s a shame that young people have sometimes been used as scapegoats or blamed for the spread of the virus when we often are in public-facing roles or hospitality jobs and trying to protect our loved ones while also keeping the economy afloat.”

Imi said: “It felt nice to be doing my bit and doing something for the NHS. My mum has been really busy and under a lot of stress and we know that going into winter it is going to get worse.”

Surgery manager Sarah Moberly said: “We could not have managed to run our vaccine clinics without the help of volunteers like Alice and Imi. We are so grateful to these public-spirited members of the community who have given up their time to help us.”

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