Grantham vaccination centre almost reaches milestone of 30,000 jabs

A vaccination centre in Grantham has almost reached the milestone of 30,000 jabs in the fight to protect the most vulnerable from Covid-19. And thanks to a Grantham company, the number of people it can help and the speed with which volunteers can work received a huge boost this week. Volunteers at the vaccination centre set up at The Meres Leisure Centre, in Trent Road, should have given 30,000 jabs by early next week.

The new-look vaccination centre at The Meres kitted out by Rocket Global Ventures. (44362085) The new-look vaccination centre at The Meres kitted out by Rocket Global Ventures. (44362085)

Capacity has now increased significantly after Rocket Global Ventures stepped in to refit the centre, with 1,200 vaccinations expected to be given Saturday (February 13) and a further 1,200 on Sunday.

It is believed capacity could rise further to 1,500 vaccinations a day.

Noel Reeves, ofRocket Global Ventures, wanted to do something to help during the pandemic and on Friday the company, which normally fits out exhibition spaces, donated and fitted all of the equipment needed to extend the capacity of Grantham’s coronavirus vaccination centre.

The vaccination tents before they were replaced. (44362119) The vaccination tents before they were replaced. (44362119)

Previously those attending for their vaccinations were given jabs in tents inside the table tennis centre. Rocket has now fitted out the centre with eight lanes and booths for the vaccinations. Darren Altus, operations director for K2 Healthcare, which is running the vaccine centre with GP practices in the Grantham and Sleaford area, is delighted with the work that has been carried out.

He said: “I can’t thank Noel and friends enough.

“We’re really upping the pace now. We literally couldn’t be doing this without them and all the other amazing people that are helping us out. “It’s a complete facelift. [The centre] looks beautiful and it means we can do tonnes more.

All our staff and the volunteers were dumbfounded by it .”

The vaccination centre at The Meres with one of the new cubicles. (44362067) The vaccination centre at The Meres with one of the new cubicles. (44362067)

Mr Altus refers to the corridors created by Rocket as “super highways” which have transformed the vaccination process at The Meres. He added: “It was really quite emotional taking those tents down. We got quite attached to them.

“So far it’s been the most exhausting, but most rewarding thing I think any of us has been through. So many volunteers have been coming in to give us their own time. They are awesome.”

Last Thursday evening, Mr Reeves and his team from Chapel House Pizza Co took their pizza truck to The Meres as a thank you to all of the volunteers who have dedicated their time to help in the roll-out of the vaccination programme.

One of the tents used at the vaccination centre before it was given a makeover by Rocket Global Ventures. (44362116) One of the tents used at the vaccination centre before it was given a makeover by Rocket Global Ventures. (44362116)

The pizza business was set up by Noel from his family home in Barrowby during lockdown last May, and has been so successful it now operates a ‘click and collect’ and ‘click and deliver’ service from its new HQ in Grantham. The pizza trucks take the pizzas to the wider communities in Lincolnshire, Nottinghamshire and Leicestershire. Mr Reeves said: “Like many businesses, we’ve been decimated by the impact of coronavirus, and we’re probably another nine months away from starting again properly.

“We’ve diversified and tried to find work to protect as many jobs as possible but the exhibition work has all gone for now.

Chapel House Pizza Co gave free pizzas to volunteers at the vaccination centre in The Meres leisure centre. (44367168) Chapel House Pizza Co gave free pizzas to volunteers at the vaccination centre in The Meres leisure centre. (44367168)

“When the vaccine centres started to pop up, it was the perfect opportunity to ‘do our bit’ and after a call-to-arms post on LinkedIn, offering our services for free, I was put in touch with the team at K2 Healthcare who were delighted to take us up on our offer.

“To bring the pizza truck here to feed the volunteers was the least we could do to say thank you for all the hard work they’re putting in to help get us all back to work.”