Roberta Migale

Postdoctoral researcher, Roberta Migale, has been volunteering at The Francis Crick Institute since the first patient walked through the door.

Roberta has shared why she decided to volunteer at a vaccination centre and how she has found the experience so far.

Why did you decide to volunteer at a vaccination centre?

Like many of my colleagues, I have a strong desire to help beat Covid in any way I possibly can. I don’t do research on viruses or anything related to the pandemic, so this opportunity to volunteer in the Crick’s vaccination centre seemed the best way I could contribute.

What does your role involve?

I started volunteering on the very first day the centre opened. We set up the stock room where we keep our PPE and other materials, filled all the trolleys with everything needed in the vaccination pods and then start vaccinating the very first patients coming through the door. That moment was the most exciting one!

I have mostly been vaccinating people, but I’ve also done some marshalling, which involves guiding patients throughout the centre – from consenting, to the vaccination pods, and then out of the building. All the shifts I’ve done so far have left me with an amazing sense of fulfilment, gratitude and hope. For me, the highlight has been the interaction and feedback from the patients. They are always so appreciative and happy to receive the vaccine.

What’s the best thing about volunteering at a vaccination centre?

The centre is another example of how the Crick community is able to step up and have a huge impact on people’s lives. I am absolutely delighted that I can do my little part to help out in the centre and I think it has been a really positive experience for everyone. It is truly heart-warming to see so many different people, who may not necessarily know each other, ready to help and work together so nicely and efficiently.

What would you say to someone thinking about volunteering at a vaccination centre?

Go for it. Even if you can only spare few hours a week. It’s our chance to make a difference and to help the NHS which has been under huge pressure lately. The experience has also the added bonus of personal growth so I highly recommend it to anyone!

Would you like to volunteer in a vaccination centre? Find out more on our volunteering page.