Joe Root: Yorkshire CCC batsman and England captain among sporting stars encouraging people to get Covid-19 jab

Yorkshire and England cricket captain Joe Root and footballer Ben Chilwell are encouraging more people to volunteer as part of the vaccine rollout.

Joe Root celebrates after scoring his century during day three of the Second Test match at Lord's

The sporting stars have backed a campaign by NHS Volunteer Responders to find more stewards for vaccination sites.

Professor Sir Keith Willet, head of the Covid-19 vaccination programme in England, said volunteers are needed “now more than ever” as efforts are made to get as many people jabbed as possible.

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Those who sign up are there to ensure social distancing measures are in place and identify people who need extra support.

Sir Keith said: “We are incredibly appreciative of everyone that has stepped forward to support the vaccine rollout so far. All our vaccination volunteers are performing a critical role and are a key part of the programme’s success.

“Our steward volunteers do a fantastic job of freeing up our staff to focus on the task at hand, and at this crucial stage we need these volunteers now more than ever so we can make sure as many eligible people as possible get all their jabs done.”

Root praised the NHS for its work and urged people to volunteer to help where they can.

He said: “The NHS have been amazing throughout these unprecedented times. Please show your support by volunteering with the vaccine rollout. Let’s make sure we’re doing everything we can to look out for each other and the generations to come.”

England and Chelsea footballer Chilwell described it as “an amazing opportunity to do something really incredible and be part of the team of heroes that have been working so hard to get everyone jabbed”.

Sam Ward, deputy CEO of the Royal Voluntary Service, said: “We are so grateful to have some of the biggest names in sport cheering us on and supporting our recruitment for steward volunteers to help the NHS to get everyone over 18 vaccinated.

“The NHS has been spectacular in delivering the rollout at such a pace to date, and it isn’t possible without the help of volunteers.

“As a steward volunteer, your time is more valuable to the vaccine rollout than you can imagine. So now the ball is in your court, please go and sign up.”

Volunteer shifts usually last up to six hours with expenses covered. No experience or qualifications are required and anyone who is interested in signing up can visit www.nhsvolunteerresponders.org.uk.