Sutton's most vulnerable residents were recently invited to an event to get their vaccine, receive health checks and free food.

Free “Vaxi Taxis” picked up residents including those living in temporary accommodation, and took them to Hill House Community Centre in Sutton on June 3.

A specialist team from St George’s University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust was on hand screening attendees for hepatitis and signposting them to further support if needed.

Health checks – including cardio and dental check-ups were offered as well as help registering with a local GP if required.

Partners from Inspire offered advice and support on drug and alcohol issues and Encompass supported the homeless with information about their services.

“Goody bags” full of toiletries and treats were given to attendees and a selection of high quality, donated clothing was available for them to choose from.

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Dr Dino Pardhanani, GP Borough Lead for Sutton, said: “Covid-19 vaccinations are safe, effective and save lives – this is another great example of the way partners in Sutton are working closely together to ensure the most vulnerable people in our communities receive their jab.

“Clinics like this are vital in ensuring vulnerable people are able to safely and easily receive the vaccine.

"We know that getting as many people vaccinated as possible is the best route out of this pandemic. This was a hugely successful event, with over 30 vaccinations delivered.”

The event was organised by the NHS, Dr Sharon Raymond, and the Covid Crisis Rescue Foundation.

Dr Sharon Raymond, London GP and Director Covid Crisis Rescue Foundation said: “Everyone is being encouraged to get vaccinated when it’s their turn and we don't want to leave anyone behind, including those experiencing homelessness, many of whom have underlying health conditions that put them at higher risk of complications from the virus.

"The Covid Crisis Rescue Foundation Vaxi Taxi Project not only aims to make vaccination more accessible, but also to bring health checks and advice to those who need it.

"I was honoured to help facilitate and support this important and really successful event in Sutton."

Nat Sanguineti, Wellbeing and Support Team Leader from Encompass LATC Ltd said: "It’s incredibly important the most vulnerable people in our community have access to the vaccine in order to protect themselves and those around them.

"It was great to see so much support available for them on the day - not just the vaccine, but a variety of health and wellbeing services and information.”

Volunteers from Sutton Volunteer Centre were on hand to greet people as they arrived and looked after them whilst at the venue.

Anita Maullin, Chief Executive, Sutton Volunteer Centre said: “We were really pleased to be able to support this event with nine of our volunteers.

" Covid-19 has been a challenge for all of us but our volunteers have really stepped up to the mark and willingly answered the call for help whenever needed.

"We are incredibly lucky to have such a dedicated group of volunteers in Sutton.”