Joined Up Careers Derbyshire is delighted with the public’s response to our Call to Arms campaign, which asked for volunteers to support the Covid-19 vaccination programme.

When we issued our call, we were hoping for help from staff who might have left the sector and wanted to return on a temporary basis, members of staff who have capacity to work additional hours, as well as members of the public.

The reaction from the people of Derbyshire has been overwhelming, with more than 900 expressions of interest since we launched the campaign in November. We have now paused the campaign, with the exception of registered professionals, while we process the applications.

People who have contacted us so far will be assessed for their suitability and availability and then allocated varied roles according to their skills, expertise, where they are based, and the needs of local areas. Due to the volume of interest we are asking for people who have responded to the campaign for their patience while we process applications and invite individuals for interviews.

The only area where we know we still need a bit more support is from registered professionals, and we hope to fill those roles soon as well. They can register their interest by visiting our Call to Arms web page.

We are very proud of the campaign but even more proud of the response from the people of Derby and Derbyshire. Just like the rest of the country, the NHS and social care sector in Derby and Derbyshire is mobilising to ensure we are able to vaccinate local people against Covid-19 as quickly as possible.

Call to Arms was set up by the newly established Derbyshire Health and Care People Hub, which is part of Joined Up Careers Derbyshire (JUCD). JUCD brings together health and care organisations across the city and county to support the current and future health and social care workforce.

The People Hub is working with the lead employer (Derbyshire Community Health Services) to get individuals interviewed, trained and appointed, or seconded if they are existing staff or currently furloughed.

The People Hub would like to thank everyone who has supported this work so far, and everyone who completed the online form to register their details to help out. As we all know, 2020 has been a hugely difficult year, but hopefully this level of response should put Derby and Derbyshire in a good place to tackle the pandemic through this winter and into spring next year.