Multi-faith vaccination drive comes to South Kilburn
- Credit: Faithsforum4london.or
A multi-faith vaccination drive is taking place in South Kilburn to encourage people to get the covid jab.
Faiths Forum for London in partnership with the Al-Khoei Foundation are supporting Dr Tamara Joffe in hosting vaccine drives at the Granville Centre in Granville Road.
It is currently being run every Monday and Thursday and has coincided with the Holy Month of Ramadan.
The initiative is part of the Community Champions Project, led by the Ostro Fayre Share Foundation, which aims to encourage people to take up the vaccine and debunk any myths and misinformation within local communities.
The clinic in the Granville Centre has been set up by Dr Tamara Joffe with the help of South Kilburn Trust (SKT), Brent Council and Public Health and the Kilburn primary care network (PCN).
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“Before it started, getting vaccinated within this area was a logistical struggle, with remote mass vaccination sites and for many a confusing booking system," said Dr Joffe.
"Now people can walk over to The Granville to find out more, and when ready, start to protect themselves, their families, workplaces and neighbourhood.
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"It supports residents who may not have the means to travel long distances and reduce the use of using public transport.”
On April 15 vaccinators, doctors, centre staff and local faith leaders from the Muslim, Jewish and Christian faiths representing the rich multiculturalism of the area
enjoyed a socially distanced celebration together to launch the service.
Neda Mousavi and Mohamed Al Rekabi, both volunteers at the Al Khoei Foundation said. “We were honoured to provide iftar (Muslim's evening meal during Ramadan) to everyone at the vaccination centre.
"This was a small gesture of good will towards the local community, and as we continue with the month of Ramadan, we hope to engage with more people of different backgrounds and faiths by coming together for a socially distanced meal again.”
Rabbi Baruch Levin of Brondesbury Park Synagogue, in Willesden Lane, said: “If nothing else, the pandemic has been a great leveller and an interfaith vaccination event underscores the importance of coming together to celebrate our collective humanity and recognise our shared responsibility in promoting life.”
Rvd Jackie Barry of St Luke’s Church, in Fernhead Road, said she was "thankful" to receive the her second vaccine dose and found the Granville centre "very relaxed and welcoming".
"Instead of being a conveyer belt, I felt that the team had time to speak to people and answer questions.
"I would highly recommend it to anyone who’s feeling nervous or hesitant to go along and talk to those running the pop up for reassurance."
Fr Gareth Wardell from Clement James Church in Notting Hill added: “The impact of Covid-19 has been devastating and those in our minority ethnic communities have been disproportionately affected.
"It is vital we ensure people have the information they need to make the right choices for them and their families.
"This vaccine drive at the Granville Centre is an opportunity to address community concerns about the vaccination and to challenge mis-information.”
Carl Blackburn, chief executive of The Granville Centre, run by SKT, said: “It is in the heart of the community and it is much easier for people to access jabs here than having to trek further.
"People coming for a vaccine at The Granville can also find out what other support and activities the Trust is providing, helping them to come out of lockdown safely and start to overcome the isolation of the past year.”