St John Ambulance's highly skilled volunteers have been working to support the NHS throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Now we're helping to deliver a national vaccination programme.

To do this we're training more than 30,000 volunteers. Using our longstanding expertise, we are empowering people with vital clinical skills and the confidence to use them. 

All volunteers will meet strict selection criteria, mandated by the NHS, and receive appropriate clinical training. This includes official courses developed in partnership with and approved by NHS England. As well as extensive training, they will be subject to assessments and clinical supervision to ensure their own safety and that of everyone receiving the vaccine.

How our volunteers are helping

Trained volunteers are administering the vaccine itself but others are there to support people as they go through the process. This is an unsettling time for everyone and some groups of patients, such as those with a visual impairment or other disability, will need one-to-one support. We are making sure everyone receives the care they need and feels at ease throughout the process.

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    Volunteer Vaccinator 

    These volunteers are administering the vital vaccines. They receive extensive training and assessments (observed vaccinations). This includes learning how to recognise and respond to a medical emergencies. Healthcare professionals will also provide clinical supervision at each vaccination site to ensure the safety of all patients and volunteers.

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    Vaccination Care Volunteer

    Care Volunteers are supporting patients before and after they receive the potentially lifesaving vaccines. These volunteers meet and greet patients and help them navigate the vaccination centre, as well as directing them to external resources if needed. Like the Volunteer Vaccinators, they are trained to recognise and respond to a medical emergency.

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    Volunteer Patient Advocate

    Our Patient Advocates are taught to recognise and respond to patients’ needs, including supporting people with impairments. This role is not clinical, but still involves the extensive training according to NHS specifications. Patient Advocates are working closely with NHS doctors and nurses and making sure everyone feels at ease throughout the process.


How can I help?

We have now paused the expression of interest process for new St John Ambulance vaccination volunteers.

Our teams are currently focused on interviewing and training thousands of new recruits each week, getting them ready to be deployed in NHS vaccination centres. We have been delighted and humbled by the level of interest vaccination volunteering opportunities with St John have generated.

Thank you for your interest in the NHS COVID-19 vaccination programme and our charity.

There are other ways you can support us, including learning vital first aid or volunteering in other roles.

Meet our volunteers

Vaccination volunteer Rasesh

Vaccination Volunteer Clare