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Guildford’s ‘Selfless’ Pilgrim Care Home Workers Step Up for Their Jabs

Published on: 11 Dec, 2020
Updated on: 11 Dec, 2020

Team leader Daniela Ramirez receives her Covid Vaccination at the Royal Surrey

Staff from Pilgrim Wood Care Home in Guildford, who lived in tents in the grounds and spare rooms at the home for six weeks during the spring and summer to protect elderly residents, were among the first for their Covid-19 jabs at Royal Surrey’s vaccination hub on the second day of the rollout.

Guildford’s Mayor Richard Billington, when interviewed by The Dragon earlier this year, said it was the finest example of community spirit, among many, that he had witnessed.

May 2020: Staff camped in tents in the Pilgrim Wood care home grounds to protect residents from Coronavirus.

See: ‘Extraordinarily Selfless’ Care Home Staff Camp Out to Protect Residents

The hub operation, set up within days, began vaccinating elderly patients, hospital staff at higher risk and care home workers on Tuesday (December 8). The hospital is among the first 50 in the UK starting the historic immunisation.

Pilgrim Wood team leader Daniela Ramirez and senior floor leader Charlotte Moseley said the vaccine was giving hope to their elderly residents.

Ms Ramirez added: “It’s great to be involved right at the start. It feels like a huge turning-point for care home staff like us who’ve been locked down with our residents and living away from our families for weeks at a time.

“But even though lockdown was difficult, it’s definitely brought us closer together as a team.”

Sharon Mitchell, the manager of Pilgrim Wood care home, with team member Adriana Bucur sitting outside the tents in the grounds in the summer.

Home manager Sharon Mitchell said: “We are pleased the Royal Surrey is a hub so close to us. We’re hoping to get our 45 members of staff vaccinated as soon as possible so we can protect our elderly residents.

“I’m so proud of the staff because they’ve worked so hard and managed to keep our care home Covid-free.

“While we really welcome the vaccinations, we’re also conscious of the need to maintain the strict Covid safety measures we’ve got in place. We can’t afford to relax yet.”

Louise Stead

Louise Stead, Royal Surrey’s chief executive, said: “We are proud to support our care home colleagues. They are protecting some of the most vulnerable in our community and the team at Pilgrim Wood made significant sacrifices.

“We know there is a long way to go with this vaccine roll-out but today is a moment of real optimism and I’m so grateful to all of our staff here for helping to make that happen.”

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