The Parks Sports Centre in North Shields is one of the three local GP-led vaccination sites across North Tyneside. Usually at this time of year, this area of the centre would be an indoor bowling green. Instead, in just a matter of weeks, it was transformed from leisure centre to busy vaccination hub.

North Tyneside Council’s Sean Dixon is a team leader at The Parks.

“I love the days when the vaccination clinics are on – it’s just fantastic to see people coming back in again. I miss the days when I could walk around and there would be archery lessons, bowling, Spanish lessons, a healthy-eating class.”

“When people first come in, you can see they are often apprehensive. For many – it could have been the first time they’ve been out of the house for months. But we’ve got the flow sorted now, so they are through so smoothly and quickly that they are soon smiling and it’s really special to see that relief and hope on their faces.”

“The best thing for me though personally was when I saw my gran, Hazel, come in for her vaccine. She’s 93 and it’s been hard for her not to hug her family – just seeing them through a window. It was a special moment and you feel there’s that light at the end of the tunnel.”

We have been capturing these moments to tell North Tyneside’s Vaccine Story – a moving digital record of the biggest vaccination programme in the history of the NHS.

From volunteers to medics, nurses, residents and more we have been sharing their stories on social media with the hashtag #MyVaccineStoryNT. We will keep building and adding to this record as more stories come in and more people share their experiences with us.

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