Local Travel Company on Board as Covid Community Champion
South Tyneside Council is working with the business community and voluntary sector to create a network of Covid Community Champions.
The champions will work with influential groups and local faith leaders to tackle misinformation and make sure people know how to keep themselves and others safe.
Councillor Tracey Dixon, Leader of South Tyneside Council, said: "Covid Community Champions will play a vital part in keeping our communities safe, reassured and protected in these uncertain times.
"The network of trusted champions will be equipped with the latest information about the local and national response to Covid-19, including vaccines, testing, and national restrictions. This will be shared with communities across South Tyneside to help keep people safe, especially those groups who have been identified as most at-risk including older people, people with disabilities or health conditions and those from minority ethnic backgrounds.
"We are extremely grateful to all those who have come forward to join this network of champions to help keep our communities well informed and help stop the spread of infection. The Covid Community Champions are sure to make a real difference."
One of the Covid Champions recruited to the scheme is Graeme Brett who has run Westoe Travel in South Shields along with his wife, Joan, for over 30 years.
Graeme has a great interest in helping to encourage people to get the Covid-19 vaccine having had his first dose of the vaccine just last week.
He said: "I am delighted to be given the opportunity to be a Covid Champion for South Tyneside - it is great to be able to support our community in this way.
"It is a great opportunity to work with our community and discuss the importance of keeping themselves and others safe to enable us to return to a more normal way of life as soon as possible.
"I got my first vaccine last week and there was a real buzz and excitement among everyone who had the vaccine."
"South Tyneside is a fantastic community and we all support each other through the good times and the bad times. The end is in sight, but we need to keep everyone safe for a little bit longer."
Westoe Travel is an award-winning travel agency which has had to close its doors, like many other businesses in South Tyneside, due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
Graeme added: "Lockdowns and travel restrictions have meant that residents of South Tyneside have not been able to take their usual holiday. We all need a break to recharge our batteries.
"Now that the vaccine is available and with the Roadmap to Recovery, we are seeing people being able to book their holidays again.
"Half of the benefit of a holiday is the excitement and anticipation of the holiday, and that helps everyone's mental health and confidence."
Graeme is looking forward to becoming a Covid Community Champion and sharing important information about Covid-19, vaccines and testing with businesses and residents across South Tyneside.
To find out more about becoming a Covid Community Champion, visit www.southtyneside.gov.uk/covidchampions or send an email to email@example.com