"It felt like a field hospital" - leader at York's mass vaccination centre pays tribute to volunteers as city comes together to mark Day of Reflection

Its canvas walls have seen over 125,000 injections of the vaccine given.

Volunteers at the mass vaccination centre stayed after the last vaccine was given on Tuesday to join in an 8pm vigil, holding glow sticks to light up the site.

And on Tuesday night “the tent of hope” at Askham Bar in York was lit in blue and yellow to mark the Day of Reflection, a year on since lockdown.

Volunteers at the mass vaccination centre stayed after the last vaccine was given on Tuesday to join in an 8pm vigil, holding glow sticks to light up the site.

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Madeline Ruff, the chief executive of Nimbuscare, who run the site, said: “It was a real opportunity to reflect and remember.

“The memory of all this that will stick with me most was when I walked into the tent for the first time. I looked around and there was the army, doctors, nurses, everyone pulling together as one big team.

“It felt like a massive field hospital, that real York city spirit.

“The support has been overwhelming and humbling.”

Some 300 volunteers work on the site ranging from students to people in their 70s.

Ms Ruff said that supplies are expected to slow over the next few weeks in line with the national picture but that the centre is equipped to deal with fluctuating demand.

She said: “We know people are going to be anxious. We aren’t expecting to get as much vaccine as we have been but we have systems in place and we can react very quickly.”

St Leonard’s Hospice in York co-ordinated lighting other areas of the city, including the walls and the University.

Staff from the hospice also buried a coronavirus time capsule yesterday to be dug up in 50 years.

Emma Johnson, Chief Executive at St Leonard’s Hospice, said: “We recognise what a difficult year it has been for so many people in so many ways. We wanted to mark this historic milestone by creating a lasting legacy of memories that will be looked back upon in years to come.

“The light up event this evening is designed to bring our community together and give people a chance to take a moment to reflect the year and both the personal and professional challenges people have faced.”