THE amount of people who have had their first Covid jab in Bicester has now passed 10,000.

The vast majority of the injections were carried out at the town’s vaccination hub at Bicester Heritage - but this wouldn’t be possible without the help of volunteers.

Residents have sacrificed their time to make sure others have a swift and comfortable experience receiving their jab.

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One of the volunteers is called Steve Flynn. He is part of the bunch of people who make up the car park crew at the centre.

He’s Bicester born and bred and is now a coach at Bicester Athletics Club after retiring from BT.

While most of Mr Flynn's family live locally he says that his grandchildren now live in Sweden.

He said: “I haven’t seen my grandkids for over a year, and I really wanted to do something positive to help us all get back to some form of normality.

"Even on the coldest of days, being in the car park crew is the best job because you see people leaving with big smiles on their faces.”

Another volunteer Carolyn Williams, is someone residents probably won’t see during their visit as she is busy upstairs helping manage some of the data entry work that is connected to each patient’s vaccination.

Originally from Chester, Ms Williams has lived in Bicester for more than 25 years. She says she finds a sense of purpose in volunteering at the hub.

She said: “I feel like I am doing something useful, and at the same time, I love the social aspect and huge sense of community that comes with the volunteering.”

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She is looking forward to continuing to indulge in her passion for travel when the pandemic is over. A keen tennis player and fan, she has been to all the Grand Slam tournaments.

Martin Fowler, from Launton, is the person people are most likely to see when leaving the centre.

He’s the one with the smiling face who will give you the farewell greeting as you head out the back door.

Mr Fowler said: "I just want to help out, and it’s lovely to chat to people. Many of the people we’ve seen haven’t been out since last March, and they’re so pleased to have been vaccinated.

"It’s a pleasure to be a part of this.”

Beth Dodson-Wells is another volunteer in the data entry team.

She is an HR professional from Bucknell and currently a stay-at-home mum to Louie and Riley.

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With a huge passion for music, Ms Dodson-Wells would usually be found singing in a choir and with the band, ‘What the Funk’.

If schooling from her home isn’t already enough to keep her busy, she has also started to learn to play the piano from scratch.

She said: “I miss performing and experiencing live music, but at least by helping at the vaccination centre, I feel that I am really doing something to help.”

The 10,000 jabs includes housebound patients and those in care homes in the area.

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