A church in Croydon was turned into a temporary COVID-19 clinic on Friday 26 March 2021 to give local people their first dose of the vaccination.
His Grace Evangelical Outreach church teamed up with Thornton Heath GPs and nurses to run the ‘pop-up’ clinic from 2-5pm for people of all faiths – or none at all – who were eligible for their first jab.
It was another example of a vaccination centre popping up in a place of worship in the town – Croydon Mosque and Islamic Centre successfully hosted a clinic last Saturday – to provide a convenient and familiar community location and ensure as many people as possible get the COVID-19 jab.
Volunteers from the church in Beulah Road, Thornton Heath, gave support to people attending for their jab and they also helped to ensure social distancing was observed.
The clinic was organised by Primary Care North Croydon Primary Care Network (PCN) and One Thornton Heath PCN. This has been one of three pop-up clinics the team have delivered alongside similarly successful clinics that were run for the Hindu community at Sakthy Ghanapathy Temple in Thornton Heath and for Croydon’s homeless community outside council offices, in partnership with Croydon Nightwatch.
Pastor Bola Thomas said: “We have been running the foodbank here for over five years now and we serve over 500 people per week. Working in collaboration with the local medical centres to set up this pop up vaccination centre, it’s been amazing to see so many individuals and families turn up to take up the opportunity of having the vaccine so we can help stop the spread of coronavirus.”
Dr Nana Oppong, from One Thornton Heath PCN and one of the vaccinators at the church, said: “The clinic went really well. It’s great that so many people from the church and the local community came along to have their COVID-19 jab – we vaccinated 126 people in the space of just a few hours.
“We’re working really hard to make sure people who are eligible can access the vaccination, which is safe, effective and offers the best protection against this virus for them, their family and all those around them.”
Dipti Gandhi, Clinical Director for Primary Care North Croydon PCN said: “We’d like to say a big thank you to everyone at the church for helping to make this community vaccination session a resounding success.
“Hosting ‘pop-up’ clinics like this is really important because it gives people the opportunity to raise any concerns they might have, seek reassurance from familiar and trusted voices and have the vaccination in a place they know well.
“The COVID-19 vaccination is our path out of this pandemic. It is vital that everyone comes forward for their vaccination when it is their turn.”
About His Grace Evangelical Outreach
It is a ministry set up to support the community, overseen by Pastors Kay and Bola Thomas. The couple run various non-denominational outreach events, activities and clubs within the community.
They engage in prison ministry, hospital visits, street and door-to-door evangelism as well as continuous children and adult bible teaching.
For more information visit www.hisgrace-evangelicaloutreach.co.uk/