Community
Published: June 17, 2021
Community
Published: June 17, 2021

How Natasha and the Birstall Site Are Supporting Local Vaccination Initiatives

As part of the global effort to get as many people vaccinated against COVID-19 as possible, our Architectural Coatings site at Birstall, UK, recently became a pop-up vaccine center. The center opened up its doors to PPG colleagues, their families, friends, our customers and the local community in a bid to beat this virus. Total number of 564 people were vaccinated. Natasha Ram, who is a volunteer at other vaccine centers, shares her story and gives us some background into this lifesaving initiative.

Volunteering Is “The Nicest Feeling”

Natasha Ram, PPG brand manager for Johnstone’s Trade Facades, External Wall Insulation (EWI) & Render and Performance Coatings at the Birstall site, has been volunteering at vaccine centers since the rollout of the vaccine. She signed up to be a volunteer as part of the UK National Health Service (NHS) Volunteer Responders program, launched at the start of the pandemic. At the end of 2020, the scheme extended to include volunteering at vaccination sites.

It’s a great initiative as there are no set requirements and you get to pick shifts that work for you. It’s very flexible, making it easy to help out.

She has volunteered at a few different vaccination sites in her local area. Her tasks have included welcoming patients, helping with form completions, ensuring social distancing and sanitization, monitoring patients after they’ve received their vaccines and helping patients find their way through the site.

It is heartwarming to meet so many lovely patients who are genuinely happy to be there. Many have gone out of their way to say a personal thanks, which really is the nicest feeling.

“We Are All in This Together”

Natasha felt passionately about volunteering because the pandemic has affected so many of us in many ways and the UK NHS was playing an incredible part in looking after everyone.

I felt I needed to do something to give back – to the people and to the NHS. Volunteering felt like the right opportunity.

In fact, she says that volunteering has been her favorite part about this year.

My experience at the vaccination sites has really made me feel like we are all in this together. It’s shown me gratitude, positivity and hope, and overall made me feel like I’ve made a small difference.

Keeping Our People and Communities Safe

Natasha reassures anyone unsure about getting a vaccine that, while they are being performed on a mass scale, the sites are welcoming, safe and offer a very individual service where your questions will be answered.

There are lots of places you can go – specific locations at specific times as well or drop-in clinics. Plus now, thanks to PPG’s cooperation with local authorities, it was even possible to visit our own pop-up vaccine center at the Birstall site.

The ease with which visitors could drop in at a time suitable to them, especially for those working shifts, and a location that was practically on their doorstep meant making a positive difference in helping save lives and taking pressure off the NHS.

Richard Armour, manufacturing director, Architectural Coatings UK and Ireland adds:

We recognize the importance of the vaccination program and its role in keeping our people and the community safe, and we are very happy to support Kirklees Council and the NHS in this important cause.

In total, 564 people were vaccinated at our Birstall site on Monday, June 14.

A Feeling Unlike Any Other

Natasha has been part of the PPG family for six years now, and it’s a wonder she has any time for volunteering as she has held many roles within the marketing team in her time with us.

One of her favorite things about PPG is that she gets to work with “really great people every day” and has the “opportunity to drive forward market plans and initiatives”.

There’s always something new to work on and lots of opportunity to bring in my ideas.

She says that if you’re thinking about volunteering, make it happen! There are so many opportunities out there, whether related to the pandemic or not.

But at the heart of them all, is being able to help other people. And the feeling you get from doing that is unlike any other.

We at PPG are committed to helping make people’s lives better by taking an active role in local communities. It is not just important to become part of the local people’s lives, it is about going the extra mile to understand the ways in which we can contribute to the places we work in and help the people that live there.

We are devoted to making it as easy as possible for people to get their Covid-19 vaccinations. Offering first and second vaccinations in the work-place, for staff, their families and the local community, was just one of the innovative ways we are doing this in Kirklees.
Steve Brenna, lead for the vaccination program in Kirklees