Grassmoor Memorial Parkland to honour those lost to COVID-19

The first steps towards creating a lasting memorial parkland to remember and honour local people who died from COVID-19 and pay tribute to the work of the NHS have been taken with the planting of the first trees.

A ceremony held earlier this month (Wednesday, 8th December) saw Council Leader Councillor Barry Lewis and Civic Chairman Councillor Jean Wharmby help to plant a Japanese flowering cherry tree at Grassmoor Country Park near Chesterfield. An avenue of oak trees has already been planted at the site.

The ceremonial planting was attended by multi-faith representatives, Derbyshire County Council Cabinet Member for Infrastructure and Environment Councillor Carolyn Renwick, an NHS representative, members of the Friends of Grassmoor Country Park and our countryside service staff. Attendees made short speeches about the effects of COVID-19 on their communities and welcomed the start of work on the memorial parkland.

Councillor Barry Lewis said: “The idea for the memorial parkland came from a lady who contacted me during the pandemic and had lost loved ones to COVID-19 and wanted somewhere to remember them and celebrate their lives.

“From that conversation the idea grew, and what we will have as the trees grow is a beautiful, green, peaceful space where people will be able to sit, walk, reflect and remember.

“I’m incredibly honoured to have been part of the ceremony to mark the first trees being planted and very pleased we have been able to make this happen.”

Council Civic Chairman Councillor Jean Wharmby said: “This has been an incredibly poignant and moving event to officially mark the start of our memorial parkland, which will grow and grow.

“So many of us have been affected by COVID-19 and sadly many have experienced the loss of someone close to them.“While we know the pandemic is far from over, we are beginning the process of recovery and healing, and the start of the memorial parkland is part of that process. In years to come people will be able to visit this area of Grassmoor Country Park and remember and celebrate the lives of those who were lost. It already feels like a truly special place.”

The county council agreed the creation of the memorial parkland in September and it has been supported by the Friends of Grassmoor Country Park.

The memorial parkland will be designed in keeping with the character of the local landscape and will feature a native wildflower meadow with an avenue of trees including wild cherry, rowan, hazel, birch, hawthorn, dogwood, oak, wych elm, willow and aspen. These trees have been selected for their spiritual meaning and to give displays of blossom in the spring and fruit for birds and other wildlife in the summer and autumn. They will be complemented by smaller, native shrub species.

A walkway to a memorial feature is also proposed, which will be made accessible to all.

The ceremonial tree planting marks the first phase of work to develop the memorial parkland area, and in time the newly created area will become a location for people to visit, spend time and remember loved ones lost during the pandemic. Further work to install seating to provide an area for quiet contemplation overlooking the parkland as it matures would follow in the second phase of the project.

Friends of Grassmoor Country Park have agreed to help the council with the planting and maintenance of the memorial parkland which will contribute to the authority’s target of planting a million trees by 2030.

Grassmoor Country Park is a popular country park that was developed on a reclaimed colliery site. It is easily accessible from Junction 29 of the M1 and the A617 and can be visited by bus.

The attendees included: The Bishop of Repton, Reverend Malcolm Macnaughton, Chief Executive of Derby and Derbyshire Clinical Commissioning Group Dr Chris Clayton, Jewish Faith Trustee at the Multi-Faith Centre Ruth Dolby, Chairman of the Muslim Welfare Association Farooq Saddique, Buddhist community representative Keith Munnings, Zen Buddhist community representative Julian Bowers-Brown, and Friends of Grassmoor Country Park Councillor Lee Hartshorne and Peter Myers.

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Council supporting Chesterfield businesses to understand the latest COVID guidance

Chesterfield Borough Council is continuing to work with the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), to carry out spot checks and inspections on all types of businesses, in all areas, to ensure they are working safely.

Earlier this month the Government launched its autumn and winter plan, which contains public and business guidance as we approach the winter, including on ventilation, face coverings and test, trace and isolate.

HSE are working to simplify the process by sharing this information and ensuring that all businesses know the HSE are continuing to perform spot checks on behalf of local authorities. Businesses will be contacted in Chesterfield to check that measures are in place to help tackle and continue to reduce the risk posed by COVID-19 transmission. If you receive a call or a visit, it is important to act upon the guidance given.

Chesterfield Borough Council’s Environmental Health Team are continuing to work alongside local public health authorities to support the understanding of any patterns in confirmed coronavirus cases in the area.

During the checks HSE provide advice and guidance to manage risk and protect workers, customers, and visitors but where some businesses are not managing this, the local authority will take immediate action. This can range from the provision of specific advice, issuing enforcement notices, stopping certain work practices until they are made safe and, where businesses fail to comply, this could lead to prosecution.

Working to manage the transmission of COVID means that businesses need to conduct a risk assessment to understand the measures they may require to protect workers and others from coronavirus. For further information on how to manage the risk of coronavirus in different business sectors please read the government guidance.

Councillor Jill Mannion-Brunt, Chesterfield Borough Council’s cabinet member for health and wellbeing, said: “As coronavirus restrictions continue to be revised, the legal duty for businesses to follow the advice to stop the spread of COVID-19 remains.

“We are talking to local businesses and visiting and inspecting sites in and around Chesterfield to understand how they are managing risks in line with their specific business activity. Our Environmental Health Team have a great understanding of the current restrictions and are able to help businesses adapt to the current environment.”

HSE and local authority inspectors are finding some common issues across a range of areas that include poor hygiene and failing to introduce an adequate cleaning regime particularly at busy times of the day.

Councillor Dean Collins, Chesterfield Borough Council’s cabinet member for economic development, said: “All businesses are in scope for spot checks which means businesses of any size, in any sector can receive an unannounced check to ensure they are working safely to manage the risk of spreading COVID. It’s important that we work closely with businesses and support them to ensure they have measures in place to manage the risks. Ensuring these businesses are safe to visit not only benefits the health of the local community it also supports the local and national economy.”

For the latest information and safer business guidance, see  Coronavirus: latest information and advice – HSE news

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Derbyshire economy bounces back strongly, East Midlands Chamber survey finds

Confidence among Derbyshire businesses is continuing to make a strong comeback as the economy reopens – hitting heights not witnessed for almost three years, according to new research by East Midlands Chamber.

The latest Quarterly Economic Survey for Q2 2021 by the region’s leading business representation group shows recruitment, sales and investment all increased significantly as the Government roadmap out of lockdown progressed.

Its State of the Economy Index – a measure of the region’s economic health compiled by aggregating various indicators – reached its highest level since Q3 2018 as the steady recovery was replaced with big growth expectations.

More than 400 businesses across Derbyshire, Leicestershire and Nottinghamshire took part in the survey between 17 May and 8 June.

Key findings from the survey for Derbyshire included:

• UK sales increased for a net 35% of businesses, while advanced orders were up for a net 31%
• Overseas sales rose for a net 3% of respondents and overseas orders increased for a net 2%
• A net 17% of organisations increased their labour force in the previous three months, while a net 44% expect to grow it over the next three months (only 3% expecting it to reduce)
• There was finally some positive news regarding cashflow, which had decreased for the majority of firms during each of the previous five quarters, with a net 6% reporting it to have improved
• Investment intentions are rising, with a net 32% expecting to spend on machinery and equipment while a net 28% predict they will invest in training
• A net 63% of businesses are confident their turnover will improve over the coming quarter, while a net 33% believe profitability will increase too

Chris Hobson, director of policy and external affairs at East Midlands Chamber, said: “Building on the recovery seen in Q1 2021, growth across Derbyshire – both in terms of activity and sentiment – continued to strengthen as the Government roadmap for re-opening progressed across the past three months.

“Domestic markets performed particularly strongly for both sales and orders, while overseas markets were stronger for advanced orders than in-quarter sales.

“Employment has also increased and looks set to continue growing with positive recruitment intentions. Encouragingly, following a year of cashflow deterioration, as more businesses have been allowed to open and confidence has grown, access to cash has also improved for the majority of firms.

“While there remain certain sectors for whom the roadmap has been slower to reach them and are still in need of support, the overall picture is one of strong growth and strong prospects for future demand and activity.”

Despite the positive trajectory for most key economic indicators, there were signs of potential growing pains ahead.

Six in 10 respondents attempted to recruit in the second quarter and, of those 62% struggled to fill roles. These difficulties were particularly acute for skilled and professional jobs, but also present across less skilled roles.
As workforces increase, half of businesses reported difficulties in finding the skills they need – versus 42% that were confident of doing so.

Pressures on pricing may be the biggest issue to watch, with a net 49% anticipating increases in their prices over the coming quarter. The biggest pressure is coming from raw material prices (60%), particularly for manufacturers, but it is also coming from other overheads (42%), including energy costs and staff pay.

Chris added: “Although the headline figures are clearly positive, it’s not all plain sailing for businesses.

“At the same time, problems associated with growth are immeasurably preferable to those associated with decline, and businesses overall will be encouraged with where the economy currently is, particularly given where we were six months ago.”

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Chesterfield Borough Council working to ensure local businesses are Covid-secure

Chesterfield Borough Council is working with the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) to contact businesses in Chesterfield to offer support and guidance and to check they have Covid-secure measures in place and to help tackle the spread of coronavirus (Covid-19) in the local area.

The council will also be working alongside local public health authorities to support the understanding of any patterns in confirmed coronavirus cases in the area.

During the checks advice and guidance will be provided to manage risk and protect workers, customers and visitors but where some businesses are not managing this, the council says it will take immediate action. This can range from the provision of specific advice, issuing enforcement notices, stopping certain work practices until they are made safe and, where businesses fail to comply, this could lead to prosecution.

Being Covid-secure means that businesses need to put adjustments in place to manage the risk and protect workers and others from coronavirus. For further information on how to manage the risk of coronavirus in different business sectors please read the government guidance.

Ian Waller, Chesterfield Borough Council’s service director for leisure, culture and community wellbeing, said: “We are talking to local businesses, visiting and inspecting sites in and around Chesterfield to understand how they are managing risks in line with their specific business activity.

“Becoming Covid-secure is a requirement for businesses in Chesterfield, it is a legal duty for businesses to protect their workers and others from harm and this includes taking reasonable steps to control the risk and protect people from coronavirus. We advise employers to work with their employees when implementing changes, to help increase confidence with workers, customers and the local community.”

HSE and local authority inspectors are finding some common issues across a range of sectors that include: failing to provide arrangements for monitoring, supervising and maintaining social distancing, and failing to introduce an adequate cleaning regime particularly at busy times of the day.

Ian Waller added: “All businesses are in scope for spot checks which means businesses of any size, in any sector can receive an unannounced check to ensure they are Covid-secure. By making sure that businesses have measures in place to manage the risks, we can help to protect the health of the local community at the same time as supporting the local economy.”

For the latest information and safer business guidance, see:

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Derbyshire vaccine programme reaches 100-day milestone

One hundred days ago Derbyshire began the biggest vaccination programme in the history of the NHS, and today (Wednesday 17th March) it is celebrating that important milestone.

The first Covid-19 vaccine doses were administered at Royal Derby Hospital and Chesterfield Royal Hospital on December 8, just six days after the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine had been formally approved by the MHRA.

One hundred days and 430,000 doses later, Derbyshire has 25 vaccination sites, ranging from GP practices and community halls to a converted theatre and the enormous mass vaccination centre at Derby Arena.

The first person to receive their vaccination in a primary care setting in Derbyshire was 101-year-old Robert Stopford-Taylor at Stubley Medical Practice on December 17.

Vaccination sites were undeterred by Storm Christoph on January 22, or heavy snow in southern Derbyshire in the following days, with vaccinations continuing thanks to the efforts of

staff and volunteers. The public did their bit as well, braving difficult weather to get their vaccinations.

Another highlights of the past 100 days was the visit to Derby Arena by Prime Minister Boris Johnson on February 8.

Joined Up Care Derbyshire Executive Medical Director Steve Lloyd said it was a moment to reflect on an incredible effort by many people across the county: “The last 100 days have seen us roll out an incredibly effective vaccination programme to hundreds of thousands of people, and I want to thank the thousands of staff and volunteers who have contributed to this.

“From those on the front line delivering the vaccine to those organising and co-ordinating, it has been an amazing effort. Volunteers have streamed in to help, many of them former staff coming out of retirement, and they have been essential.

“It’s also important that we pay tribute to all those in our hospitals, GP practices and in community settings who are still delivering essential care.

“I’m very proud of all their efforts on behalf of patients, and it’s encouraging that we are 100 days closer to getting back to some sort of normal life.

100 days stats and dates

· Total doses: 430,000

· Vaccination sites: 25

· First vaccinations: December 8, 2020 @ Royal Derby Hospital and Chesterfield Royal Hospital

· First primary care site opened: Stubley Medical Centre, December 18

· Mass vaccination site opened: Derby Arena, January 25

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Derbyshire Voluntary Action urges Chesterfield residents to step forward as community champions

Derbyshire Voluntary Action is urging people in Chesterfield to help their community to stay safe and protected from covid-19.

The charity and third sector support group says we all have a part to play in keeping ourselves and each other safe and protected from Covid-19 at the moment, and this newly-launched initiative makes it easier to do just that.

Jacqui Willis, Chief Executive of Derbyshire Voluntary Action, says “Looking at the latest information about coronavirus in Chesterfield and North East Derbyshire, it’s clear that we would like the number of confirmed cases to be dropping much quicker than it is currently.

“We are on a plateau at the moment, which is frustrating and disheartening because we all know that the sooner the numbers come down, the sooner we can look forward to lockdown coming to an end.

“We are asking individuals, voluntary and community groups and organisations, businesses – in fact any community spirited person from any walk of life – to come forward to be a Community Champion and to share positive messages about how to stay safe and protected from the virus.”

Community Champions receive the latest information, updates and advice about Covid-19 through Derbyshire Voluntary Action’s regular e-bulletins and social media channels.

They undertake to share the information with other people in their community in whatever ways they want – in conversations, on social media, or in any other way of their choosing.

They are also encouraged to keep in touch to let Derbyshire Voluntary Action know what is and isn’t working in their community so there can be a collective approach to responding to the virus in the way that will work best in Chesterfield and North East Derbyshire.

For more information and to sign up as a Community Champion, visit, call 01246 555908 or email

Derbyshire Voluntary Action supports the marketing and economic growth of the town through Chesterfield Champions, a network of over 180 organisations across Chesterfield and North Derbyshire.

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Vaccination hub at Chesterfield Royal Hospital reaches key milestone

The team running the COVID-19 vaccination hub at Chesterfield Royal Hospital has plenty to celebrate – reaching a major milestone since they opened the doors.

Matron Gemma Cort gave the first vaccination on Tuesday, December 8 2020 to colleague Ian Hazel, Director of IT and Infrastructure at DSFS. Ian has been shielding throughout the pandemic – as a failed kidney transplant and subsequent haemo-dialysis makes him extremely vulnerable to COVID-19.

Yesterday (Tuesday, 26th January) it was the turn of Matron Stacey Burton to mark the moment – when she was called upon to deliver the 10,000th ‘jab’ to Amy Chapman from the Community Nursing Team at Alfreton Primary Care.

It means the Royal – one of the first 50 hospital vaccination hubs in the country – has given the Pfizer vaccine to around 4300 of #TeamCRH (over 90%), as well as to colleagues from other local NHS organisations, care and residential homes, and some of its most vulnerable out-patients.

These were priority groups for the first phase of the national vaccination programme, which has now moved progressively out into the community, helping even more people to access the vaccine at a local centre, closer to home.

Commenting on the team’s achievement, Chief Nurse, Krishna Kallianpur said: “I am incredibly proud of them all. They came together at short notice to create a well-organised system, working outside of their ‘normal’ duties to support the vaccination programme.

“It’s been incredible to be involved right from the start. Achieving 10,000 vaccines in just seven weeks is phenomenal and we are looking forward to supporting the next stage in the country’s biggest-ever mass vaccination programme.”

The Royal is to take a step-back for the next few weeks, to enable the community vaccination programme across Derbyshire to become the main point of access. The hub will temporarily suspend its services at the end of this week; and will pick back-up in around four weeks-time, when second doses will need to be administered.

“It will allow staff working out of the vaccination hub to return to their substantive medical, nursing, pharmacy and administrative roles, supporting other areas of the hospital at this critical time.

“This short pause in vaccinating will help the rest of the hospital,” continued Krishna. “Right now we are balancing the demands of caring for over 180 patients with COVID-19, with equally high numbers of the ‘normal’ medical and surgical admissions we see at this time of year.

“Our vaccination team will return to their roles for a while to support areas of greatest need, returning in a few weeks to do it all again when we’ll start to give people the much-awaited second dose. In the meantime we’ll be linking in with our health system partners to ensure that appointments for NHS and social care staff will continue to be prioritised at other centres, including the Winding Wheel in Chesterfield town centre.”

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East Midlands Chamber urges businesses to donate spare laptops to children – and help secure a future workforce

East Midlands Chamber has urged businesses to donate spare IT equipment to homeworking parents who may be unable to afford laptops or tablets for their children.

With schools closed during the third national lockdown, it means many employees must balance work with childcare duties.

But after concerns have been raised that not everyone can afford the necessary equipment for online home schooling, the Chamber says there will be some companies that can step in to offer support – and it may even bring benefits to their business.

Director of resources Lucy Robinson said: “It’s become increasingly clear throughout this pandemic that Covid-19 is only serving to widen gaps between people according to their socioeconomic groups.

“We absolutely must not allow this to also lead to a widening of the education gap as there’s plenty of evidence to show how important a decent education is to setting children up for a good career – enabling them to contribute to the local economy in future.

“There will be many businesses that have spare laptops and other IT equipment lying around offices unused as a result of either temporary or permanent reduction in headcounts. We would encourage companies to help out by either loaning or donating kit to their own employees who fall into this category, or to schools and dedicated charities.

“Such actions can form a key part of CSR activity, which we’ve seen is becoming increasingly vital to employees who want to work for organisations that share their values, while it could also improve productivity as we’re hearing more and more about disruption to business as a result of home-schooling.”

Chamber donates laptops to Chesterfield school

The Chamber will deliver eight laptops, eight computer towers and eight monitors this week to Ashover Primary School, based near the organisation’s Chesterfield head office, following on from a donation of 12 laptops and three towers last year.

The Friends of Ashover Primary School group has helped to wipe the equipment and certify the destruction to maintain the Chamber’s data security compliance.

The school’s headteacher Sue Myhill said: “This gesture has really cheered us up at what is an incredibly challenging time for everyone.”

Some 47 laptops have also been donated to the Derbyshire, Leicestershire & Rutland Air Ambulance charity’s IT recycling service since December 2019.

Lucy added: “During 2020/21, we made significant investment in upgrading a large amount of IT equipment that was either outdated, not fit for its designed purpose or required repair. Rather than send usable equipment to landfill, we decided to repurpose and donate it to good causes.”

Chamber member donates to Derby-based not-for-profit that helps schools access equipment

Heanor-based bus operator trentbarton, which provides services in Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire, has donated two laptops to Enterprise for Education (E4E).

The group is a not-for-profit public-private sector partnership based within Derby City Council’s education department that aims to mobilise the city’s workforce to help young people prepare for both life beyond school and the world of work.

Jeff Counsell, managing director at trentbarton, said: “Like many businesses, we have been moved by hearing about children unable to do as much remote schoolwork as they need during lockdown.

“Some are struggling to do any and some families with more than one school-age child face added difficulties.

“We are pledging our support by donating laptops for the children of families in our community and we urge any other businesses that can do likewise to join in.”

Arshad Iqbal is programme leader for E4E, which works with Chamber members such as the University of Derby, Rolls-Royce, Freeths and Bowmer + Kirkland to support every secondary school in Derby and a number of primary schools.

He said: “There’s a lot of talk that schools will remain closed beyond the February half-term and yet there’s young people at home who don’t have access to a laptop or broadband – meaning they have a fundamental barrier to education.

“In many cases, there’s two children in a household in different age groups, but one laptop between them – and there’s one school we work with where there’s five children sharing a single laptop.

“This makes it difficult not to just access the normal school provision, but also extra educational resources, such as those offered by the BBC and the employers we work with that are trying to encourage more children to take STEM subjects from a young age.”

Arshad said there’s plenty of research that highlights the correlation between doing well at school and having a successful career, while a 2017 study from the Education and Employers charity found that students who had at least four encounters with employers before leaving school would be 86% less likely to become a so-called “Neet” – not in education, employment or training.

He added: “We’re asking businesses if they would be able to donate an old laptop or, alternatively, sponsor the purchase of a new one, offering one small step towards these young people accessing the education we know is so important to success in later life.”

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Record 2020 results for Mortgage 1st despite pandemic

Back in March last year when the pandemic began no one had any idea how the year would pan out and like most businesses Mortgage 1st’s objective was to survive. They have done more than that since and are absolutely thriving!

Their business model was already built around offering remote advice so when COVID hit they didn’t have to change anything about how they operated. This meant there were no interruptions for their customers who continued to receive the same quality service and support.
Other than adjusting to working from home (whilst juggling home-schooling!) for their Chesterfield based head office team, it was pretty much business as usual for Mortgage 1st.

The team confidently navigated and adjusted to all the changes in the mortgage application process and sympathetically dealt with the delays caused by the initial lockdown and tighter lender restrictions ensuring their customers remained top priority throughout.

When the Estate Agents re-opened and valuations and surveys were allowed to take place again in the spring, it was like someone had flicked a switch and the new enquiries came flooding in. So much so that Mortgage 1st were then able to confidently continue with their ambitious growth plans and recruited 7 new Mortgage Advisers and a Mortgage Processor during the summer adding to the 2 new Advisers that had already joined the team earlier in the year.

With a strong team in place and the abundance of new customer enquires meant a record year of results across the board for Mortgage 1st. Their Advisers applied for 1,672 new mortgage applications equating to £301m worth of lending and they arranged 827 insurance policies to ensure their customers were fully protected financially.

Lisa Stones, HR & Marketing Director, Mortgage 1st said: “We are unbelievably proud of our team and the resilience they have shown during 2020. It’s been the craziest and toughest year in our history and to achieve record results is testament to everyone’s hard work and sheer determination. We have grown even stronger as a team over the last year and are all feeling very positive about what 2021 will bring for our industry, the business and us all personally.

January is always the busiest month for new mortgage enquiries and already 2021 is shaping up to be another fantastic year for Mortgage 1st. Their recruitment plans continue at pace and by the end of March an Apprentice, Mortgage Administrator, Mortgage Processor and 4 new Advisers will have also joined the team.

Mortgage 1st supports the marketing and economic growth of the town through Chesterfield Champions, a network of over 180 organisations across Chesterfield and North Derbyshire.


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Chesterfield Champions work together in offering support to local vaccine rollout

Two Chesterfield businesses are working in tandem as part of efforts to speed-up the covid-19 vaccine rollout across Chesterfield.

Casa Hotel has been working closely with PCT Healthcare, the parent company to get the green light from the government and NHS England to vaccinate residents at Casa Hotel.

Casa Hotel owner, Steve Perez announced on his official Twitter account on Monday, 18th January that Casa has been given the go-ahead to become a vaccination centre from 1st February until the end of June.

Darryl Dethick, head of business transformation at PCT Healthcare said: “We’re delighted to be working with the team at the Casa hotel in Chesterfield along with the team at NHS England to get our Covid vaccination site up and running as soon as possible.  It’s great to be able to work together and support each other in helping to protect our local community.

“Community Pharmacy is really well placed to help look after the health needs of the local population and our Pharmacists and teams are really excited about being able to be part of the national vaccination campaign.”

Joe Cattee, PCT Healthcare director

Casa Hotel owner, Steve Perez said: We have a big car park, lots of space and being a modern building. We are very accessible, including toilets which is very important to the elderly. Instead of waiting in line on a cold pavement, waiting before and after the vaccination can be done in the warmth, under cover.

“We are used to being a 24 hour operation so that poses no issues to us.  We have the resources between us. We have come together as Chesterfield Champions with very different businesses for the benefit of the town.”

The collaboration comes as Chesterfield Borough Council recently announced vaccines are beginning to take place at Chesterfield’s Winding Wheel, along with several other venues across Derbyshire.

PCT Healthcare and Casa Hotel support the marketing and economic growth of the town through Chesterfield Champions, a network of over 180 organisations across Chesterfield and North Derbyshire.

steve perez honorary degree

Casa Hotel owner, Steve Perez

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Winding Wheel one of seven new COVID-19 vaccination sites

Chesterfield’s iconic Winding Wheel theatre is becoming Derbyshire’s latest COVID-19 vaccination site today, continuing the rapid rollout of the vaccination programme across the county.

The site will begin vaccinations on Thursday morning, using the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, and it will be followed closely by a second Chesterfield vaccination site at Wheatbridge Surgery on Saturday.

The Chesterfield Borough Council-owned Winding Wheel becomes the tenth primary care vaccination site serving Derbyshire. It is the first of a new wave of openings, with six other sites also opening in the coming days.

The Winding Wheel is a Grade II listed building, built in 1923, and was previously the Picture House Cinema. It normally hosts a popular programme of arts and entertainments, but has been converted into a vaccination site through the hard work of teams from several organisations working together.

The Winding Wheel will initially only carry out vaccinations for healthcare workers, while patient vaccinations are carried out at the nearby Wheatbridge Surgery, ensuring Chesterfield is well provided. Some Chesterfield patients may also be offered appointments at Stubley Medical Practice in Dronfield, if that is more convenient for them.

This start of vaccinations at the Winding Wheel site marks the start of a new wave of openings, including the county’s most southerly vaccination site so far, in Swadlincote. The full list of this wave of openings is:

Winding Wheel Theatre, Chesterfield
Wheatbridge Surgery, Chesterfield
Littlewick Medical Centre
Springs Health Centre, Clowne
Buxton Medical Practice
Shirebrook Sports Sports Hall
Oaklands Village Commmunity Centre, Swadlincote

Vaccinations at the Winding Wheel are being carried out by Chesterfield & Dronfield Primary Care Network (PCN), representing 12 GP practices. Vaccinations are all by appointment only.

People should not contact their GP about a vaccination unless asked to do so, and should not attend any vaccination site without an appointment.

Derby & Derbyshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is managing the rollout of the vaccine across the county, and CCG medical director Dr Steve Lloyd said the opening of the Winding Wheel was another big step forward.

The Winding Wheel is such a treasured and historic part of Chesterfield and I’m delighted that it is playing an important in this major vaccination programme.

Carrying out vaccinations at the Winding Wheel means we can provide this vital vaccine to the people of Chesterfield and its surrounding areas in a location well known to most people.

Teams from the PCN, Chesterfield Council and Derbyshire Community Healthcare Services and the CCG have all worked incredibly hard to get this vaccination site up and running, and I’m really proud of their efforts.

The contrast with the modern surrounds of Derby Arena, which opened just last week, demonstrates how flexible, thorough and determined our teams are to identify and prepare the most appropriate venues to reach as many patients as possible.

I’m also particularly pleased that we are beginning vaccinations in Swadlincote, which is our most southerly site yet and provides a vaccination site for communities of South Derbyshire.”

Councillor Tricia Gilby, Leader of Chesterfield Borough Council, said: “We’re delighted that the Covid-19 vaccination programme is being rolled out in Chesterfield. The use of The Winding Wheel Theatre, which the council owns and operates, as a local vaccination site is a huge step forward in our fight against the virus.

“We’ve been working closely with NHS Derby and Derbyshire Clinical Commissioning Group and other partners to support the roll out and ensure that The Winding Wheel Theatre is ready to receive health care workers for their vaccinations. At this time, Chesterfield residents will be invited to have their vaccination at another local venue, and I urge as many people as possible to come forward and get vaccinated.

“Although this is a huge step forward, we must all make sure we continue to follow the Government guidelines and protect our most vulnerable.”

Vaccinations will be rolled out to more sites over the coming days and weeks, as the vaccination programme continues to build momentum.

The first vaccinations in Derbyshire took place at Chesterfield Royal Hospital and Royal Derby Hospital on December 8th, followed by the county’s first vaccinations at a primary care site on December 18th at Stubley Medical Centre.

Festival of Remembrance

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