BRITAIN’S biggest firms and a vast army of more than 500,000 of their workers yesterday threw their weight behind The Sun’s Jabs Army campaign to help get the nation vaccinated.
In a massive call to arms, phone giant BT, supermarket Morrisons, British Airways, betting favourite PaddyPower, Sky TV, pub chain Wetherspoon and hotel group Hilton were among firms swinging behind the drive to roll out the vaccine.
⚠️ Read our coronavirus live blog for the latest news & updates
Britain’s biggest firms have joined The Sun’s Jabs Army drive to get Britain vaccinatedCredit: AFP
Between them the firms have a huge force of more than half a million workers who were last night urged to sign up as volunteers to help the huge national effort.
Thousands now stand ready to join the 22,000 who have already officially signed to become steward volunteers at NHS vaccination sites across the country in the fight against the coronavirus.
The stewards will form a key part of the Covid-19 vaccination team by making sure the centres run smoothly and safely.
Backing The Sun’s campaign to get 15million people immunised by March, the boss of supermarket giant Morrisons – which employs 121,000 people – pledged to volunteer himself and offered the use of his firm’s car parks.
CEO David Potts said: “We support this great initiative from The Sun wholeheartedly. We’re continuing to put our assets at the disposal of the nation and will help Jabs Army in any way we can.
“From use of our car parks to a cup of tea – Morrisons will be there for you and I’m very happy to volunteer to help in any way myself.”
Sky is ‘fully behind’ The Sun’s Jabs Army campaign
BT, which employs 80,000 in the UK, said they were ‘proud’ to lend their support to our drive
Hotel group Hilton is asking its 14,000 UK staff to volunteer whether they are working or on furloughCredit: Times Newspapers Ltd
The boss of supermarket giant Morrisons pledged to volunteer himself and offered the use of his firm’s car parksCredit: Alamy
BT – which employs 80,000 in the UK and has 30million phone and broadband customers – said: “Today we are proud to lend our support to The Sun’s Jabs Army campaign, allowing colleagues to help out as Steward Volunteers.
“The light at the end of the tunnel is getting nearer but we still need to pull together to get the job done and roll out the largest national and global vaccination programme in history.
“BT is supporting the national effort in the fight against this invisible and lethal enemy wherever we can.”
Travel giants British Airways and TUI threw their weight behind our Jabs Army campaign last night – encouraging tens of thousands of staff to volunteer to help vaccinate the nation.
Thousands of furloughed staff have previous volunteered with organisations from the British Red Cross and Age UK to the NHS and St John Ambulance.
Now they will have the opportunity to join the Jabs Army in tackling the huge vaccination challenge. The airline has more than 30,000 employees in the UK.
Louse Evans, Director of External Communications and Sustainability at BA said: “Last time Britain found itself in a lockdown situation hundreds of our people including pilots, cabin crew, engineers, customer service and head office teams volunteered to help with the national effort.
“We are pleased to be able to offer our support again and to be part of The Sun’s campaign to recruit as many volunteers as possible.”
The airline was joined in its support of our Jabs Army campaign by the UK’s largest tour operator, TUI.
Their 10,000 staff across the country will be encouraged to volunteer with a link going up on their internal website yesterday.
Andrew Flintham, Managing Director, TUI UK & Ireland, “We’re delighted to play our part in supporting The Sun’s Jab Army campaign. We’re incredibly grateful to the NHS for everything they’re doing and in such challenging circumstances.
“With travel off limits for so many people this year, our incredible TUI team have already become NHS responders and volunteers since the beginning of the pandemic.
How to sign up
VOLUNTEERS for the Jabs Army are being asked to first register online at nhsvolunteerresponders.org.uk
You will then receive an email with log-in details to sign up online.
Finally, you will be asked to download the GoodSAM app on a smartphone which will match you to a role in your area.
Services will be opening in the coming days and weeks, with different areas up and running at different times, so you might not be required on site for some weeks. Not everyone who signs up will need to be called upon.
You need to commit to only two six-hour shifts a month at a vaccination service, and no prior experience or qualifications are required.
You will work as part of a team that will include NHS staff and volunteers. The Royal Voluntary Service will conduct appropriate background checks.
“We’re therefore offering our help once again, and together hope we can look forward to a brighter future.”
TV engineers Ashlee Vassell, from South West London, and Susan McElroy, from Scotland, are among Sky workers now signed up as volunteers.
Sky Europe CEO Stephen van Rooyen said: “Sky is fully behind this important campaign. We want to do our bit to support the NHS and our colleagues are ready to help”
Bosses at Paddy Power offered the use of their currently-closed bookie shops as temporary vaccination centres.
A spokesman said: “The sooner we can all get vaccinated, the sooner we can get back to our lives – seeing family, and then promptly escaping them again at the football or the pub.
“But, seriously, if we can play even a small role in getting the country back on its feet, we’d be very proud.
Travel giant British Airways encouraged staff to volunteer to help vaccinate the nationCredit: Handout
Bosses at Paddy Power offered the use of their currently-closed bookie shops as temporary vaccination centresCredit: Handout
Pub chain Wetherspoon – which has 900 pubs – urged its thousands of staff to sign up as volunteers
The UK’s largest tour operator, TUI, is backing our Jabs Army campaign
Workers at cinema chain Vue – which has 87 sites across the country – also backed the appealCredit: Not known, clear with picture desk
“So we are offering the use of our 345 Paddy Power shops, and the staff who work in them, across the country.”
Hotel group Hilton is asking its 14,000 UK staff to volunteer whether they are working or on furlough.
Steve Cassidy, Managing Director, UK, Hilton, said: “The NHS vaccination programme is critical to all of us so we’re proud to be supporting The Sun’s Jabs Army campaign.
“Having hosted thousands of NHS and key workers at our UK hotels during the pandemic we know our Team Members want to help as much as possible.”
Huw Edwards, CEO of ukactive, which represents more than 4,000 gyms and leisure facilities, employing more than 250,000 staff, said: “The fitness family will do everything it can to help the UK beat Covid-19, including supporting the rollout of the NHS vaccination programme and The Sun’s Jabs Army campaign.
“Our nation’s gyms, leisure centres and swimming pools have always been there for our physical and mental health, and no workforce is more passionate about getting people fit to fight back against the virus.
‘LET’S WORK TOGETHER’
“Our sector is readying hundreds of facilities for testing and vaccination, and we know that our army of dedicated fitness professionals will continue to play their part.”
Gym operator PureGym also offered to make the firm’s 275 gyms available as potential vaccination centres.
Humphrey Cobbold CEO of PureGym said: “Mass vaccinations will save thousands of lives and livelihoods, it is the only way we can emerge from this terrible pandemic and get our society and economy working again.
“I wholeheartedly endorse The Sun’s Jabs Army Campaign and encourage everyone to get behind it, we should leave no stone unturned in our quest to quickly vaccinate the most vulnerable and then the whole country.
“Let’s work together to end this nightmare as quickly as we can.”
Workers at cinema chain Vue – which has 87 sites across the country – also backed the appeal.
PureGym offered to make the firm’s 275 gyms available as potential vaccination centres
Frankie & Benny’s, which has 2,040 staff at 102 restaurants across the country, have given their support
ukactive, which represents more than 4,000 gyms and leisure facilities, have joined our Jabs Army
Luxury car maker Bentley is already working to provide volunteers from its staff in the North WestCredit: Handout
Toby Bradon, General Manager at Vue UK, said: “Our cinemas are integral parts of communities up and down the country, so we’re proud to be getting involved in The Sun’s Jabs Army campaign to support those around us and, of course, the NHS.
“Our Vue colleagues across the UK who are currently unable to welcome customers into our cinemas – but have been working in a safe, Covid secure manner for months – will make a great addition to the Jabs Army team.
“We know how important it is for everyone to come together at this time to support the vaccination programme and we’re pleased to offer our support in this way.”
Their support was echoed by restaurant chain Frankie & Benny’s
Managing director Jonathan Knight, which has 2,040 staff at 102 restaurants across the country, who said: “Through working together we know that we can help defeat the virus and the key to this is the rapid delivery of the vaccine across the UK.
“We are delighted that so many of our colleagues are getting behind this great campaign to support the NHS, help protect our loved ones and get us back to normality.”
Pub chain Wetherspoon – which has 900 pubs – also urged its thousands of staff to sign up as volunteers.
MAJOR NEW CAMPAIGN
A spokesman said: “We will be putting this out to our 43,000 staff tomorrow.”
Luxury car maker Bentley is already working to provide volunteers from its staff in the North West.
A spokesman said: “ We are already on this working with the NHS across the Cheshire region, as we have been consistently, and will be going out to groups of colleagues asking for volunteers.”
On New Year’s Day, The Sun launched a major new campaign called Jabs Army to help the NHS recruit the volunteers needed for the safe running of pop-up vaccination centres in the fight against Covid-19.
Through the NHS Volunteer Responders Programme, delivered by Royal Voluntary Service, almost anyone can sign up to play the part in the drive to get 15million people immunised by March.
Volunteers only need to commit to two 6 hour shifts per month at a vaccination service near them and no prior experience or qualifications are required.
Last night more than 22,000 had signed up to our appeal in just a week.
Ellen Prosser, 100, received the Oxford vaccine at her care home in SidcupCredit: PA:Press Association
The Sun’s Jabs Army is helping the NHS recruit the volunteers needed for pop-up vaccination centresCredit: PA:Press Association
More than 22,000 signed up to our appeal to get Britain vaccinated in just a weekCredit: AFP
Chief Executive of the Royal Voluntary Service Catherine Johnstone CBE said: “Hitting more than 20,000 sign ups in just one week is an absolutely incredible achievement.
“We are so grateful to Sun readers for joining us in our fight to beat Covid-19 and are looking forward to welcoming new recruits to the team.
“We still need many more people to join us and to be part of the team making history. Please do sign up.”
GOT a story? RING The Sun on 0207 782 4104 or WHATSAPP on 07423720250 or EMAIL [email protected]