Wigton Hospital tree tribute to Covid vaccination volunteers across North Cumbria

Volunteers in North Cumbria who have helped vaccinate people against Covid, have been celebrated with a tree planting ceremony at Wigton Hospital.

Community groups in the area have devoted countless hours over the past 18 months to get 60,000 vaccinations done.

The tree - a Cumbrian Rowan - has been planted to mark efforts of the around 160 volunteers who helped with the rollout across the Keswick and Solway care network.

Based mainly at Wigton Hospital, they have been operating every week since the end of 2020.

Clinical Lead for the Keswick and Solway Primary Care Network, Dr Richard Massey, said: "The commitment that we've had from the volunteer services has made a massive difference.

"They've provided care for our patients from the car into the building and helped to co-ordinate everything that we do and without them this programme simply wouldn't have been possible."

Credit: ITV Border

Northern Fells Group organised the team of volunteers.

Simon Braithwaite from the group said: "Everyone has just responded magnificently.

"In February in 2021 we came here and the car park was absolutely laden with snow so I rang around the volunteers to see if they could just come down with shovels and whatever else they could find and we had the car park clear in two hours.

"So that was really amazing that we were able to keep the operation going in those conditions."

The tree has been marked with a plaque which reads: "In recognition and to thank volunteers and NHS colleagues for all their tireless work to deliver the Covid Vaccination Programme".