Meet our volunteer vaccinators: Philip Smith

Retired schoolteacher Philip Smith lives with his wife Diane in Belmont, Hereford. Born in South Wales, he studied in Sussex and spent 4 years living in Humberside before settling in Herefordshire over 30 years ago. Phil has two sons both of whom live away. One is in London and the other lives on Vancouver Island, Canada with Phil’s two grandchildren.

Phil leads an active life enjoying both cycling and walking. He is a keen bowler and football referee. Phil admits that the local scenery is getting a bit repetitive and he is looking forward to getting out further afield when restrictions are lifted.

Past volunteer work

Phil is no newcomer when it comes to volunteering. Before Covid, he helped out with reading at his old school, Much Birch and he often carries out maintenance or administration tasks at his bowls club. He also has a number of sporting volunteer experiences under his belt. In 2019 he helped out with the Cricket World Cup in Birmingham and Cardiff. When the lockdown started last year, Phil signed up for several volunteer schemes. He did shopping and prescription pickups for one or two people but wasn’t asked to do much.

Car park marshall work

Phil marshalls at Saxon Hall in Hereford. He has already completed 11 shifts, with each shift lasting 4-6 hours. Most of the car park marshalls at the vaccination clinics are there to guide the cars. Many of the volunteers are of retirement age but there are some young faces too.

“I got linked up with hvoss through the council. I gave my name and passed it on and then it was just on an email list. It’s been the most active thing I’ve been able to do in lockdown, the car park marshalling. It’s enjoyable, I’m out and about. It started towards the end or December. I’ve been doing it at least once a week and last week I did 3 sessions. There seems to be new people coming through all the time.”

“There seemed to be a good team spirit and ethos. Everyone worked well together. Many people being vaccinated commented on how smoothly organised it all was. People are very grateful to have their vaccines, they are very thankful.”