Free rides to vaccination centres pick up speed in Cardiff

A local transport charity has driven more people to vaccination centres in the nine days of February so far than they did in the whole of January.

Vest community transport is just one of the local local charities offering free rides to older or disabled people in Cardiff. So far this month, they have driven 149 people to their vaccination appointments – already 10 more people than in the entirety of January.

Caroline Cook works at Vest and says their service is only a small part of a wider community push to help vulnerable people get their jab.

“You also have taxi drivers who are good, and Cardiff Bus, of course – they now have low floor vehicles and they’re all disability trained,” she said.

“So I think it’s a massive effort from the whole of the community to make sure everyone has the opportunity to get vaccines, if they want to.”

Marilyn Campbell, who is blind, said that Vest has been a huge help to her throughout the pandemic.

“I cannot live without them since my husband died, I really can’t,” she said. Marilyn uses their services to help her in other ways too, such as going to the supermarket or visiting the dentist.

Vest aims to get over 460 people driven to their vaccination appointment by the end of February. Catrin Griffiths is a local community member who has been working as a mutual aid in Cardiff to support high risk groups. She says the way people have come together in the pandemic is a great example of community spirit.

“It’s brought out that (spirit), you know, “What can we do?”,” she said.

“Let’s be kind to each other. Let’s help each other. I think it has brought out the best in people.”

As Wales’ vaccination rates move ahead of the rest of Britain, those in higher risk groups are relying on the kindness of the community to make sure they get their jab.

The city of Cardiff is working to protect its residents against the virus, with local community members doing their part.