Mike’s Steam Experience – helping out at the vaccination centre

Steam Museum Swindon

I had been very impressed by the work of Swindon RC members at Steam. They have been volunteering throughout the Covid vaccination programme. As a result so I decided to have a go myself. This Monday, having parked in the Outlet car park, I found a bit of a mix-up as I arrived at 0800 for my shift to 13.00. I was meant to be outdoors but got posted indoors, at the exit door. No complaints though, the rain was hammering down.

And my role in this…?

My role was to check, that people had sat down for 15 mins after their jab, before leaving. My partner a very pleasant woman and I developed a routine for, politely , asking if people had taken the 15 mins , or heading off those who hadn’t understood the requirement and were intent on leaving. 
I remembered how upbeat and professional the medics had been when I came for my jabs and I realised it was no different  now – even after all these months. I had my break at 1015, went upstairs and someone, bless them, had brought in cake; the great thing as well was that, from the balcony, you could admire the exhibits; Steam is an outstanding museum. 

People came from everywhere

 I observed during my stint was that Swindon is now, truly a multicultural town. Our attendees appeared to come from most of the world’s continents. As well as booked appointments it was a walk in session, so we had a wide range of ages and motivations – one man told us that he and his wife had planned to give things ‘a few years’ to see how Covid  panned out, but they wanted to go abroad on their hols this year, so he’d come that day.

The other observation is that I need to pay more attention to detail. My colleague, at about 1250, after my saying “only ten minutes to go”,  told me that our shift actually finished at 1330, and how long was my parking ticket valid for? Oh dear, after 5 hours the Outlet parking fee clicks over from £1 to £12;  I just managed to get another £1 into the parking machine after a rather undignified run, in my boots,
The programme provides free parking in Bristol Street – I’ll use that next time.

Mike Dunn

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