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Lorraine Rogers

lorraine

After working for 25 years as cabin crew and then as a freelance trainer within the airline industry, Lorraine was looking forward to beginning her new job. 

She would be training and assessing staff and apprentices working in duty free at Gatwick and Stansted airports. 

But then COVID-19 struck and she found herself unemployed before she had even started. Her efforts to secure financial support through the furlough scheme from her previous employer also failed, which was very difficult for her. 

It was not until she spotted an advertisement for the Sussex vaccination programme that her fortunes changed. 

“What excited me was that they were looking for ex-flyers – people who were trained in first aid, followed standard operating procedures and could remain calm when busy or under pressure,” she says. 

“I just thought ‘it’s such a good thing to be a part of, to be able to actually help do that’, and I thought that the country needed all hands to the pump.” 

Confident her skills and experience stood her in good stead Lorraine applied, performed well in a video interview and was offered a job as a vaccinator. 

“I was overjoyed,” says Lorraine, who completed her training in December and January before starting work at the Brighton Centre vaccination centre. 

She relishes the camaraderie and teamwork and has nothing but praise for the existing NHS staff, who have given Lorraine and other new recruits their full support. 

“I love the fact we are doing something worthwhile,” she says. “And it’s not just about giving the jab. It’s about caring for people, too. I feel I am doing something very rewarding.”

Lorraine says her experiences as a vaccinator have changed her view of the NHS and the people who work for it. 

“I always knew that they cared and were under pressure, but from working with the people I’ve worked with, they always seem to go the extra mile, many of them are so selfless,” she explains. 

“They are genuinely thoughtful, caring people. They have a great sense of humour and they don’t cut corners. They are so lovely to get along with.” 

Asked how she feels when she looks back on the past 12 months, Lorraine says: “I feel very grateful to be doing this because not only have I learned new skills and am working again, I have also met so many wonderful people on the way. 

“To have a job and be doing something that I enjoy and that I feel is worthwhile has given me hope and inspiration for the future. If I get a chance to continue working in the NHS, I definitely will.”