The Peepul Centre, a community arts centre in Leicester, is to be used as a major coronavirus vaccination hub.
The centre will host 36 vaccination stations when it opens later this month, as part of a wider scheme on the city to ramp up the delivery of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine – which is easier to store than the Pfizer-BioNTech injection that was approved last month.
We got in touch with Anil Bhanot OBE, Chair of the EMF Peepul Group of Social Enterprise Charities, to see how the centre is preparing for their new role.
For more information about the Peepul Centre, visit: http://peepulenterprise.com/
Q. How did the Peepul Centre become a COVID-19 vaccination hub?
Peepul Centre had been providing free meals throughout last year to the vulnerable communities and the overworked NHS staff in the area. Out of the blue last month, the NHS rang our reception to enquire about the possibility of using the Peepul Centre as a Vaccination Hub in Leicester and I said we would be honoured to help.
Q. What work are you having to do to get the centre ready?
Our Business Development Manager has worked closely with the NHS to make the Centre ready for the vaccination programme to run under COVID guidelines. There are 36 vaccine stations working from 8am to 8pm to run for an initial period of 3 months.
Q. Prior to this, what was the impact of COVID-19 on the day-to-day running of the Peepul Centre?
Our fundraising came to a halt from early 2020 but when the first lockdown started I pushed for free meals for the vulnerable communities in the area with funding earmarked from our parent charity Ethnic Minority Foundation, which is run as a social enterprise business charity with a committed management team.
It is this team strength that sees us through the difficult times.
Q. What advice do you have for any other charities or voluntary organisations who may be struggling at the minute?
Our advice to other charities is simply to carry on doing good in whatever tiny way they can and Karma will look after you and your organisation. Currently yes, it is a matter of survival but now the light at the end of the tunnel doesn’t seem to be too far away.
To keep up to date with what the Peepul Centre are doing, follow them on Twitter here: https://twitter.com/PeepulEnt
You can also follow Anil on Twitter here: https://twitter.com/anilbhanot
About BHIB Charities Insurance
BHIB Charities Insurance specialise in providing tailored cover for community groups, clubs, societies, voluntary organisations and hobby or special interest groups. We offer more than just insurance and we are passionate about supporting local communities.