Hot on the heels of his superb fundraiser for local charity, Pett Level Independent Rescue Boat, Sean’s hardly got his breath back before offering out his next helping hand … this time with a little NHS support.

Because we’ve now moved into that time of year when it’s not just the coronavirus amongst us … flu season has also arrived. This affects everyone, including the vulnerable and it means that NHS services face another mammoth task, juggling their spaces and services in order to keep everyone as safe and well as possible.

NHS support, covid secure
Covid secure ... and more!

So when Sean was approached by Leanne Thomas, a member of the nursing team at Parkview Medical Practice in Catford, asking about the hire of a marquee, he knew this was a chance to help.

The request was for a marquee, to use in the practice car park, to create a separate space for administering seasonal flu jabs. For the surgery, having a separate space outside would mean they could keep the practice premises dedicated to their shielded and vulnerable patients who need face to face medical appointments.

However, the logistics of Sean’s inflatable marquee didn’t work out, mainly because Sean’s marquee is too large for the space. But Sean’s attitude isn’t ‘sorry, no can do’ it’s much more ‘hmm, let’s see what else we can do” and he started thinking of alternatives … 

"Where everything in the party sector is so limited, rather than the van just sitting around empty, I thought why not lend it out to a good cause? When Leanne reached out looking to hire a marquee for the car park, ours was too big ... but the van seemed a better option.

After all, it can stay on loan at the surgery for a while. As we've got no gigs, events or weddings in the foreseeable future, we'd rather it's useful in the meantime."

NHS Support: From party van to practice mobile unit
Sean delivered the party van to fit in with the surgery's flu vaccination schedule

Sean’s offer came as a complete, but very welcome surprise to Leanne and to her Parkview Practice colleagues. Leanne took the time to explain the difference the SOS van is going to make …

"The marquee Sean had was far too big but then he came up with idea of a mobile unit completely free of charge. It offers shelter and we won’t have to worry about adverse weather - it’s basically given us an extra clinical room without the worry of setting up and packing away at the end of the day because we can just close the doors and lock the car park at the end of the day. He even supplied a fridge so that we can store the vaccines in for the daily clinic. It also means we can continue to offer vital services to our patients with long term health conditions in a safe environment in the surgery."

NHS support, flu vaccines
NHS support, flu vaccines

So Sean’s been converting the back of the van, to create a dedicated, disinfected and distanced space for staff and patients to use for the administration of flu vaccinations.

After being dropped off on Friday 2nd October, ready for staff to make their own final adjustments to the accommodation, the van took up its NHS support role on 5th October 2020 – from party van to practice mobile unit.

Check back for more updates, and in the meantime …

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