Updated: Feb 10
The workers spent five days giving their time to unloading around 100 pallets of equipment from articulated lorries, and setting it up inside the main Westpoint building, at Clyst St Mary. Network Rail workers last year volunteered to help transform a former Exeter DIY store, at Sowton, into a new Nightingale Hospital.
Nick Millington, Network Rail’s director of safety taskforce, who coordinated the volunteers, said: “We are so proud to have played a part in helping set up this hugely important vaccination centre in Exeter. Throughout the pandemic, colleagues right across Network Rail have worked tirelessly to help keep our trains and stations running safely for the benefit of our passengers, and we were delighted to have the opportunity to continue contributing towards overcoming Covid-19 away from the tracks. It was immensely rewarding to have helped build the Nightingale Hospital in Exeter last year and to see so many colleagues pull together again in a similar fashion speaks volumes of the selfless individuals who have contributed their time to get this vaccination facility up and running.”
Darryn Allcorn, Devon’s lead chief nurse, said: “We’re very grateful to all the people from Network Rail who volunteered to help set up the vaccination centre at Westpoint. It was a fantastic effort by all, and our new centres mean we are on track to further increase the scale and pace of the vaccination programme in Devon.”
Volunteers worked to complete a range of tasks, including assembling furniture, laying out signage and constructing the vaccination pods to help ensure the facility, just off the M5 motorway in Exeter, was ready to open on Tuesday January 26.
Mike Gallop, Network Rail’s Wales & Western interim managing director, said: “I would like to commend my Network Rail colleagues for their dedication and commitment in supporting the NHS in Devon set up this life saving vaccination centre. I look forward to seeing the first people be vaccinated and am truly hopeful this facility helps protect the people of the South West from Covid-19 and enables all of us to return to normality as soon as is safely possible.”