Our pharmacy has been operating a Covid-19 vaccination site for over a year. It has been a great success, with over 55,000 vaccinations administered since the site launched. We like to celebrate these numbers – they represent hope and success amid an ongoing pandemic – but let’s not forget the hard work that goes into making them possible.
Naweeda is a site manager for our vaccination site in Accrington. She qualified in 1996, and before starting with Imaan she had never done a single flu jab. Now, 12 months since she started working at the Accrington site – one that she also manages – things are very different.
Naweeda says: “It all started with Nurul. My dear, dear friend Nurul. He filled out some forms for Peel Street. I went along with it, not really understanding what would happen if the application was successful.”
Needless to say, the application was successful, and the site – located at ACT Centre, St James’ Old School Building, Cannon St, Accrington BB5 2ER – has been successfully running for over a year. But Naweeda was initially hesitant. “Why did ACCRINGTON get a site? Why would anybody come to Accrington to get a jab? To this day I can’t believe how many did…”
That early hesitance gave way, and a year later Naweeda is incredibly thankful for the experience. But she also admits it hasn’t been easy. “It truly, truly is, and has been the most successful part of my working life. Upon reflection, I also feel I lost a year of my life. I lost a year, but gained a lifetime of memories.”
Any vaccination site worker will tell you of the hardships that come with working such a job. The hours are long and unforgiving, but not unrewarding.
“I’ve met so many people, got to know people better. Made some friends along the way. Hated some, loved others.”
While Naweeda’s relationship to her role may seem conflicted, she maintains that it was definitely worth the trouble. “I didn’t love the site from the onset. I fell in love with it as time went on. How could I not! It’s been an absolute privilege to be a site manager.”
This is a sentiment echoed throughout the healthcare industry. The work is hard and sometimes thankless, but at the end of the day it’s highly fulfilling. Naweeda calls this her “biggest personal achievement to date.”
Her story is inspiring to anyone doubting their abilities or worrying that they aren’t good enough to take on new challenges in life. It is also a representation of the passion and determination that all of our healthcare workers possess – the kind of spirit that is getting us through these difficult times.
“I DID IT! I saw it through! Many times I hit rock bottom. It hasn’t been easy. I haven’t been easy. It’s been hard work. I’ve never worked so hard in my life. I’ve loved it. I could talk about this year for a whole lifetime.”