Meet our volunteer vaccinators: Jan Coppinger

 

The daughter of a firefighter, Jan, 63 moved around a lot as a child and has continued to do so throughout adulthood. Originally from Liverpool she lists London, Dorset, and the East and West Midlands amongst the places she’s called home. She was in Somerset before she moved to Herefordshire in around 2007/08.

 

Jan has a partner who lives nearby and her son, a final year psychology student at Nottingham University, moved home in the wake of the pandemic.

Past volunteer work

Now retired, Jan worked as a Community Development Worker and a Youth Worker, so she has always been involved in community action. Jan describes herself as ‘quite political’. After being made redundant 8 years ago, she took care of an elderly friend before volunteering for People in Motion – a refugee charity. She has delivered aid to One Nation within the UK many times. She has even driven an aid van herself to Calais, cooking for refugees whilst there. Additionally, Jan gets involved in fundraising. Right back at the beginning of the pandemic Jan volunteered to drive for a local foodbank but was not needed until November 2020.

“I didn’t know the state of play in Hereford, but mainly I just wanted to help. I have been humbled by people’s gratitude whilst listening to their stories. The food bank is amazing, there are so many people who do a lot more and for a lot longer period than I.”

Car park marshall work

Apart from working at Wargrave Surgery once, Jan has mainly marshalled at Saxon Hall Vaccination Centre. She is complimentary about the other volunteers with whom she has a lot of friendly banter. She works with different people each time but there is a core group of familiar faces.

Jan’s son who is younger than the average marshall has also been doing his bit. He has received many “good for you” comments as he goes about the work.

“People that were coming for vaccines had been in their houses and hadn’t seen anybody for months. It was really important to treat them with respect and welcome them so that they felt that the world is a kind place . People are not only going out of their way to be kind to us, but are making us laugh. We always go wave goodbye to them.”

“People have been so grateful and so complimentary about how well organised it is. I have experienced mutual respect across all roles. Many doctors and nurses offered their gratitude to us as car park marshalls.”