Staff at Aberdeen’s mass Covid vaccination clinic have been treated to some first class service with the help of grounded cabin crew volunteers.
The charity Project Wingman started up last March, as the pandemic swept the country and masses of flights were cancelled.
With medical staff flat-out caring for coronavirus patients, the organisation’s founders realised airline crews’ formal training could provide the perfect antidote.
Since then, more than 6,000 aircrew from every UK airline have been volunteering their time to look after NHS staff at hospitals and clinics.
So far they have set up more than 80 lounges at locations including Aberdeen Royal Infirmary and Dr Gray’s Hospital in Elgin.
This list now includes the mass vaccination centre at P&J Live, with Project Wingman’s cabin crew members volunteering one day a week from their new lounge.
Used to working in stressful situations, they have been empathising and offering support to staff at the centre – and keeping them stocked up with hot drinks and snacks and on their breaks.
Clare Houston, NHS Grampian’s project manager at P&J Live, said: “We’re really pleased to welcome Project Wingman to the mass vaccination centre.
“Obviously, the set-up here is quite different to a hospital, so we have had to think a bit differently about how it will work.
“However, they were really receptive to our suggestions and I know the space they provide will be much appreciated by everyone working on the vaccination programme.”
Kirsty Cruickshank, a senior cabin crew member with Loganair who has been volunteering with Project Wingman, said: “We’re delighted to bring our latest lounge to the mass vaccination centre at the P&J Live at Teca.
“The staff here are doing an incredible job and it’s great to be able to spoil them during their breaks with a little of our first class service.”