MORE than 1,200 people have come forward to help speed up the delivery of the coronavirus vaccination programme in Dorset.

The Daily Echo featured a call for action from local organisations Community Action Network(CAN) and Volunteer Centre Dorset.

They are compiling a list of people who are prepared to act as volunteer marshals at Covid-19 vaccination centres.

Since the appeal appeared in the Daily Echo newspaper and on our website, organisers have been inundated with offers of help.

And CAN Chief Executive Karen Loftus said the help of Daily Echo readers has made “a positive difference to our campaign.”

As the country enters lockdown for the third time, vaccination centres are being set up across the community.

Volunteers will be needed in several parts of Dorset but particularly in the Bournemouth area.

Launching the appeal, Karen Loftus said: “It has been a horrendous year but we can see a light at the end of the tunnel.

“This is a call for action and a way in which people can get involved and actually do something positive.

“Some people will feel apprehensive about the vaccine and we want to offer a friendly face.”

The role of marshals is intended to allow health professionals to get on with vaccinating people in as efficient a way as possible.

Marshals will provide reassurance and encourage social distancing. They will be able to welcome people to sites and escort them to vaccination points.Travel expenses will be paid and PPE will be provided.

The exact dates that people will be needed are not yet known but anyone coming forward will be asked to give a minimum commitment of 24 hours, spread over the next three months.

Shifts will be available seven days a week between 8am and 8pm and anyone over the age of 16 can register their interest at Volunteering Hub.

Once registered CAN will be in touch with start dates and details of the short mandatory Zoom training/welcome session, after which people will be able to book to volunteer when it’s convenient for them.

Vaccination centres are springing up across Dorset with many GP surgeries offering jabs to their most vulnerable patients.

Larger centres are likely to open within weeks, one of which has been revealed as The Hamworthy Club in Canford Magna.