Hive buzzing to help vaccine effort
Barnet Post speaks to Daniel Martin head of the Hive Foundation - the charitable arm of both Barnet FC and London Bees - about the football stadium’s transformation into one of the first Covid-19 NHS Vaccination Centres in the UK.
The Hive opened its doors to the NHS team in December 2020, becoming the first football club to transform into a vaccine centre in the UK. Now that the hub has been running for two months Barnet Post caught up with Daniel Martin to find out how it was going.
Explaining how remarkable it was to see that the NHS has taken over the West stand end to end, Daniel praised their efforts. He said:
“It is just mind-blowing. They are absolute heroes, they really are. It’s a phenomenally slick operation, last time I spoke to the head of the organisation, she said they could vaccinate up to 800 people a day and are open seven days a week. That number may have increased by now.”
Before Christmas the hub had managed to vaccinate 3,000 people, making Daniel “really proud of what they are doing.” This experience has given him an insight into the ways that this is “a UK wide effort and every representative from the NHS is an absolute hero who should go down in history”.
One of The Hive Foundation’s main aims is to support the local community, repurposing the unused stadium into a vaccine hub in a time of national crisis makes the club "happy to be able to play a small part in the national effort”.
One of the most memorable moments was when PM Boris Johnson dropped in to the hub last month. The PMs visit,
“Highlights the magnitude of what is happening. I know the PM has come under criticism for these visits and doing a PR based activity but it’s really the result of many people’s hard work championed by the PM and he was so engaging which everyone and incredibly interested in the process. I think it was a real nod to the hard workers and the volunteers who are here day in and day out.”
Considering the lessons learnt over the last year, Daniel says the scope and scale of the pandemic and the subsequent effort to combat it by the NHS have been “a real eye-opener”.
“It has put so much in perspective, making you realise how delicate life is - showing the reality of how we can come together as a nation and the way the NHS is driving forward makes me really proud to say I live in a country with a National Health Service.”