tony sheard call centre

Southampton Rotarian Tony Sheard signs off from a three hour shift as a call centre advisor for the Community Connections COVID-19 vaccination help line. Photo submitted

Rotary has a team of volunteers from the Rotary Clubs of District 6330 Passport including Meaford, Paisley, Southampton, Thornbury Clarksburg, Walkerton and Wiarton working seven days a week from 8 until 8 in three hour shifts supporting the Community Connection call centre operation.

In a Southampton Rotary media release, the volunteers work from their own homes and provide surge capacity to the call centre, supporting the Grey Bruce Health Unit in offering local on demand personal support to callers needing advice and help in booking a COVID-19 vaccination appointment.

After a short intensive course volunteers can sign up for shifts to provide advice and assistance to callers. Typically, a volunteer will handle around 30 calls in a three hour shift. Numbers vary depending on call volumes and the complexity of the query.

Walkerton Rotarian Don Moore, who is coordinating the volunteer team within Grey Bruce said that most callers are concerned with how to book a vaccination appointment.

"Some callers just want to vent on why the vaccination rollout is not happening faster and others are very grateful to speak and share their concerns and issues to someone from a call centre situated within the Grey Bruce area," said Moore. "The availability of vaccination appointments is always dependent upon the flow of vaccines into the Grey Bruce Health Unit.”

Southampton Rotarian Tony Sheard said he was surprised with how quickly he became familiar and comfortable with the role of helping and reassuring callers. "One funny moment was when I was asked, because of my British accent, was the call centre in the UK."