For many, Christmas Eve is a time to enjoy with family, but one Exeter GP and his wife have instead volunteered to spend it vaccinating elderly residents from coronavirus at a nursing home.
Sam Hilton and his wife Emma – who is a trained nurse – have chosen to administer vaccines for more than 70 vulnerable residents at Alphington’s Lucerne House.
They have also decided to donate the money they earn doing the vaccinations to Action for Children, a charity which provides practical and emotional care and support to children and young people.
Sam said he hopes it will be a nice ‘early Christmas present’ for the residents.
“We received an invite asking if we wanted to do vaccinations on Christmas Eve, and initially I thought it was going to be a bit of a joke as nobody would want to do it that day,” Sam, 39, explained.
“But the more I looked into it, the more it all fell into place. I had the week off already and so I asked my wife and she said ‘yeah, let’s do it’.
“I know the residents have been anxious there as they have had a couple of outbreaks there, so hopefully it will be an early Christmas present for them and it can help put them at ease.”
Sam, a GP at Ide Lane Surgery in Alphington, and Emma have two children – five-year-old Tim and Orla, aged three.
Fortunately for them, a family member can look after the children while they spend what Sam thinks will be between four and six hours vaccinating 72 residents.
“It is always hard to know exactly how to do something good for the world,” continued Sam.
“We always say that we’ll do something for charity but we never get round to it., but helping people is what Christmas is about really, so we thought ‘why not?’
“We also thought we’d give the money charity, Action for Children, to try and do what we can to help.”