COVID-19 Champions - Sylwia's Story
Multi Kulti West Midlands CIC is a multicultural organisation based in Walsall, bringing people together through community and charitable events. They are one of several organisations involved in the COVID-19 Community Champions programme.
In phase one of the COVID-19 Community Champions, Multi Kulti completed questionnaires to understand perceptions of the COVID-19 vaccination, supported the mobile vaccination bus across Walsall and encouraged residents to be vaccinated through the sharing of individual experiences. They also worked with a local GP (through the NHS Black Country and West Birmingham CCG) to produce vaccination information videos in English and Polish.
In phase two, the group will continue their activities by running a mixture of online and face-to-face sessions, distributing COVID vaccination information in various locations and engaging with health professionals.
Multi Kulti has recruited Community Champions to support the delivery of their work. One of the Champions is Sylwia, who has kindly shared her story:
My name is Sylwia Staniszek, I am 44 years old, and I live in Brownhills.
I volunteer for Multi Kulti West Midlands CIC and became a COVID-19 Community Champion because I am very passionate about the vaccine programme and I truly believe if everyone were vaccinated, we would come out of the pandemic.
As a Champion, I was supporting the staff at vaccination buses, asking the public if they were willing to be vaccinated, as well as pointing them in the right direction.
While I was a Champion, I spoke to a man who was passing and saw what we were doing to raise awareness of the vaccination. It was clear from his reaction that he was very much against the vaccine.
I decided to have a conversation with him and shared my personal experience of having the vaccination, including the booster jab. I explained that the vaccination truly has its benefits and reduces the risk of being seriously ill with COVID.
After a while, I managed to convince him that the vaccine was safe and effective, and he trusted me with the information I provided. As a result, he went on to receive his first dose. He encouraged his son to have the jab as well.
My experience as a Champion has been very rewarding. I have loved every minute of it, particularly as I am a people person. I love talking to people and helping whenever I can. If you are like me, you love supporting people and are community-orientated, then join our team. You would love it as much as I do.