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SYA Volunteer James Owen

Helps Recruits and Support Vaccination and Test centre volunteers

At the start of the Pandemic, SYA’s CEO agreed to be the strategic link for the VCSA to the statutory sector. In early meetings we had to design a process “At speed” to recruit, check, risk assess, place and support the volunteers who would support the testing and vaccination roll out in Telford & Shropshire. Members of the strategic planning group wanted this to be electronic, as automated as possible and to create a data base that multiple agencies and staff could use at the same time.

During one lengthy zoom meeting with the strategic partners I called upon James Owen, a young SYA volunteer who has exceptional IT skills and asked if what we were thinking was even possible? In James’s usual style he said leave it with me and I’ll check. An hour later, with the strategic meeting still underway, James had created a first draft using Microsoft forms, which populated a spreadsheet in SharePoint that I was able to share with the group.

Over the next few weeks, it was amended, tweaked and altered by James who worked with SYA and RCC (now Community Resource) staff to perfect what became the biggest and most complex spreadsheet I’ve ever worked on.

Had it not been for James’s dedication and volunteering the launch of the volunteering offer to find, recruit and train vaccination & testing centre volunteers would have been delayed, I believe that this simple act saved lives by getting more people vaccinated more quickly and helped recruit over 1200 volunteers safely.

James is now a trustee of SYA, he continues to volunteer with us and in Scouting.


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