Two retired Warwick nurses who met in 1978 among first to step forward for Coventry and Warwickshire's Covid-19 vaccination programme

They will be putting their uniforms back on to help vaccinate people against coronavirus, when a vaccine becomes available

Friends who first met when they began nurse training in 1978 are amongst the first to step forward to help the NHS in Coventry and Warwickshire deliver the coronavirus vaccination programme.

Caroline Rudd and Judith Smith from Warwick qualified as nurses in 1981 and worked for the NHS for 40 years before retiring on the same day in 2018.

They will be putting their uniforms back on to help vaccinate people against coronavirus, when a vaccine becomes available.

Two retired Warwick nurses who met in 1978 among first to step forward for Coventry and Warwickshire's Covid-19 vaccination programme

They were amongst the first to answer a call from the NHS in Coventry and Warwickshire who want people from all backgrounds to apply for various role that will help fight back against coronavirus by delivering a Covid-19 vaccine to thousands of people.

The recruitment is part of extensive preparations that will ensure people across Coventry and Warwickshire can access a vaccine, regardless of where they live, once it has undergone strict clinical trials and is approved for use by the independent regulator.

A web page has been set up to direct people to the roles that are open to support a covid-19 mass vaccination programme.

Amongst the roles currently being advertised for vaccinators, site stewards and administration support. Roles within Coventry and Warwickshire are available here

Caroline said: “I saw the jobs and wanted to be one of the first to step forward to help the NHS to fight this virus.

"We don’t know when a vaccine will be available but when it is, I hope to do a little bit for the NHS and for the people of Coventry and Warwickshire.

"I would encourage others to think about applying too.”

Judith said: “We qualified as nurses in 1981 and spent the majority of our careers caring for patients at Coventry and Warwickshire Hospital which was in the centre of Coventry.

"We had been enjoying our retirement, but the pandemic put an end to our plans to travel and when we saw this chance to step forward, we thought why not, it’s an opportunity to make a difference.”

Theresa Nelson, Director of HR said: “We need people like Caroline and Judith who have recently retired as well as those who might have never worked in the NHS but who have some time and a passion to get involved.

"You might work part time and can spare some extra hours in your week, to help us deliver the biggest vaccination challenge the NHS has ever faced.

"If you have never worked in the NHS before it’s a great time to start.

"We are adding roles all the time, so if nothing catches your eye, please look at our web page for more information.”