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Ex-hospitality worker inspired to train as a nurse after joining COVID-19 vaccination roll-out


A former Assistant Manager of a restaurant who became an Administration Assistant for the COVID-19 vaccination programme is going back to school to train as a nurse. 

Tom Jones, 20, from Caerwys, who went straight into hospitality after school, has been working as a vaccination assistant at Deeside Mass Vaccination Centre (MVC) after he was furloughed three times from his hospitality job last year.  

Tom said: “Before Christmas I met someone who worked at the vaccination centre who told me about jobs opening at the MVC in Deeside, and I knew a third lockdown was coming so I applied for the vaccination assistant role. I thought the role would be something different and new for me, I’d worked at the restaurant for four years and healthcare was something I’d never thought I’d go in to.” 

Tom started as a Vaccination Assistant at the end of January and is awaiting training to become a vaccinator in the coming months.  

Tom said: “It was busy when I first started and it was very new to me. We were really busy trying to vaccinate that older age group as quick as we could. There’s a lot more pressure in this role than I was used to, but I was in cadets and I’ve done first aid training, so I've always been interested in high-paced roles that help people. 

“During the beginning of the vaccination roll out people were so happy and grateful to come and get the vaccination which was lovely to see. I really enjoyed working here, and I found I fitted well in administration, and was delighted to be encouraged to experience new areas, roles and scenarios.” 

Tom is now studying for Access for Nursing at Deeside College, as well as his Level 3 NVQ in health. He then plans to go to university to train as a qualified nurse. 

Tom added: “I was passionate about hospitality because my mum owns a café which I worked in when I was younger, and I really got into it but I’ve wanted to have a career and a profession for a while. I wanted to initially go into the RAF but I had an operation which meant I couldn’t, so this role has helped steer me to think of healthcare, which I’ve never thought of before COVID-19.  

“I’d like to eventually go into adult mental health or district nursing, I work with so many different types of nurses at the MVC, from dental, psychiatric, community, paediatrics, so I have lots of support and people to speak with. 

“My focus and objective is to help people, and I love fast paced busy environments.” 

The Health Board is encouraging those who haven’t had their first or second (eight weeks after the first) to get protected now. People can book online (new slots are being added regularly), or call the COVID-19 Vaccination Contact Centre on 03000 840004. 

Alternatively, walk-ins are accepted at Deeside MVC and Catrin Finch in Wrexham, Tuesday-Sunday in July, whilst vaccine stock lasts (except for Tuesday, July 20th at Deeside). The Health Board is also offering mobile ‘pop up’ vaccination clinics at high footfall areas where people can turn-up, no booking required.