'We want to stop confrontation' - Vaccine centre's sign encourages mask wearing

Staff and volunteers with the sign outside the Fakenham Medical Practice

Staff and volunteers with the sign outside the Fakenham Medical Practice. From left to right: Mandy Price, Med teams Denise Mcnab, Med Teams Jolene Parks, Sara Freakley, Chris Fuller, Jacuie Sandford, Sam Wade, Gail Allcock, Peter Colley, - Credit: Terry Davies

Volunteers at Fakenham’s vaccine centre said a sign encouraging people to wear masks is to avoid confrontation.

There was some concern raised among staff and volunteers at Fakenham Medical Practice as patients were turning up to vaccine appointments without masks.

While they are no longer mandatory after the relaxing of Covid rules, the staff wanted to avoid confrontations while asking visitors to wear a mask.

Terry Davies, who has been volunteering at the centre since January, approached a local business to help them establish a sign at the vaccine centre.

“Their concerns were that when patients arrived at the main entrance, the very last thing that we wanted was volunteers having confrontations with patients who refused to wear masks during their visit for a vaccination,” he said.

“The staff were a little concerned about speaking with patients arriving, and volunteers having the possibility of confronting them to put masks on.

“I spoke with Isobela Griffith-Thompson, who works for Jungle Signs, who once again stepped into the breach and made us an A-frame size sign to stand outside the main entrance for everybody to read prior to them coming into the building.

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“It simply reads, ‘Out of courtesy for medical staff, patients and volunteers, masks on please’, and it seems to have the desired effect.”

Not wanting them to cover the cost again, he approached Kevin Topping, from Dempsey Heating, to see if they would pay and sponsor the sign. He said they did not hesitate in offering to cover the cost.

This is another example of businesses across the town stepping up and assisting the vaccine program in Fakenham.

Mr Davies also said more businesses have come on board to help, including Sammy Bolton, manager at the Flour and Bean bakers. Mrs Bolton now stops by regularly with deliveries of treats in the form of doughnuts and Belgian buns for their clinic days.

There are also now fans on-site, donated by Fakenham Tool Centre’s Cindy Futter, and Harley Dawson at The Running Horse is now delivering them regular cold drinks throughout the day. Tesco’s Sara Sayer has also started giving them vouchers in order to get their own stuff from the superstore.

“It is absolutely brilliant, it simply gives the volunteers something to look forward to whilst doing another shift,” Mr Davies said.