THE NHS has issued an urgent call for volunteers to help man several vaccination sites across the region.

The Nightingale Hospital North East in Washington and a pharmacy in Bishop Auckland are among several that require 'steward volunteers.'

Nationally, the NHS has said that there are now more than 2,000 shifts that desperately need to be filled across the country.

But in the North East, the NHS here have named just some of the vaccination sites where there is a high demand for volunteers.

Read more: Those 23 and over can now book their NHS Covid vaccine

This comes as the vaccination programme was yesterday opened up to anyone over the age of 23 in England.

Catherine Johnstone, Chief Executive of Royal Voluntary Service, said: “We find ourselves at a crucial moment in the vaccination rollout. 

"There is a real urgency to this, and we are working at pace to get all adults vaccinated as fast as possible. 

"There is a particular need for steward volunteers to help the vaccination programme reach communities most in need.

"If you are able to help by joining the team, please don’t hesitate. Together we can get the jabs done.”

These are just some of the sites looking for volunteers

- M&M Escomb Road Pharmacy, County Durham

- Birtley Medical Group Practice, Gateshead

- Newcastle Racecourse, Newcastle Eagles

- Hexham Mart, Northumberland

- Wellway Pharmacy, Northumberland

- Redhouse Pharmacy, Sunderland

- Nightingale Hospital, Sunderland

What's involved

According to the NHS Volunteer Responders, shifts usually last up to six hours with your expenses covered.

They do not require experience or qualifications, while a full briefing of your roles and responsibilities is provided on the site.

Volunteers  then use a mobile phone app to choose what shifts they would like to do and when.

Those who are interested are being asked to go to to sign up as a Steward Volunteer.