A number of West Norfolk businesses have offered their premises to help speed up the roll out of Covid vaccinations in the area.
Bank House operator Michael Baldwin has penned an open letter offering the facilities at the historic King’s Staithe Square building as a “vaccination station” after having to close when Norfolk moved into Tier 4.
His letter says: “We at Bank House have now had to close for the third time this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“During the course of 2020 we have had to operate in a very different manner, from serving takeaway, introducing social distancing, offering free rooms to key workers, and now having to close our doors once more.
“While we stand empty, we would like to offer our hotel as a COVID-19 vaccination station should the need arise for more locations.
“We are a town centre location with easy parking and pedestrian access and have also spent the last few months ensuring we are Covid-secure.
“We have staff who are trained first aiders, fridge space aplenty, many sperate rooms and everything needed in order to speed up the vaccination process for the people in our community.
“I am sure we are not alone in having suitable spaces available and would hope that other businesses could offer up their space and that it would be accepted by the decision makers. The speed at which we can roll out vaccines is the speed at which we can return to normality and start our lives anew. We stand ready to do our bit.”
After writing the letter, Mr Baldwin said in a statement: “This has been a truly awful year for everybody, but we must all be ready to do our bit, as we have here at Bank House throughout 2020.”
He said with the premises closed, if it could be put to use for our community, that would be a good thing.
“We hope we can relieve some of the burden of our local surgeries and hospitals and enable more people to get vaccinated quicker, thus enabling everyone to get back to normal sooner as well as hopefully saving lives.
“I feel very strongly that we must do all that we can to help our community in a time of great need. We have always held this at the heart of everything we do at Bank House,” he said.
The Crown Inn at Gayton posted on Facebook: “We have a large property, plenty of parking and fridge space and Covid secure. We’re more than happy to offer our space as a vaccination station to help get these vaccinations done so that we can all go back to normal faster.”
And The Jolly Brewers at Shouldham also took to social media and said: “We have written to the Health Secretary and Prime Minister to offer our assistance in anyway we can with the rolling out of the vaccine – whether it be storage, a safe, private room to administer or our general help in organising such a task.
“The reason we have done that is because there is a huge, bright light at the end of the tunnel and we want to do all we can to get us all through that tunnel as quickly as we can.”
When enquiring about the possibility of the offers being taken up, Your Local Paper was told that “well established plans are in place to continue the roll out of the vaccine in the coming weeks and months” in the Norfolk and Waveney area, with nine sites already up and running and more being introduced.
Offers to use premises as vaccination stations would need to be made to the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, YLP was told.