A teenage Army medic based at Catterick Garrison has had the opportunity to speak to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge about her work in support of the NHS during the pandemic.
Private Abi Render, 19, of 5 Medical Regiment based at Gaza Barracks, is a Combat Medical Technician (CMT) and has been vaccinating members of the public at vaccination hubs in Newcastle, Sunderland and Hull.
The Royal couple were keen to know about a typical day in the life of a vaccinator and Abi explained her day on task consists of vaccinating the population and ensuring their information is correctly recorded onto the national system.
Pte Render, who grew up in Leeds, was honoured to get the opportunity to speak to the Royal couple, and said: “This certainly was a special moment for myself, one I will never forget.
“I couldn’t be more grateful for the opportunity to share the reality of the work we are doing every day and how rewarding it is to be a part of.”
Prince William, 38, was speaking during a video call with a small group of five military personnel taking part in the vaccine roll out.
He told them: “I really appreciate all the hard work you guys are doing at the moment. It’s making a huge difference.”
He added: “I hope we come out of this lockdown very soon and a bit more social contact and life can come back to normal as soon as possible.”
19-year-old Abi only recently finished her training as a CMT prior to her deployment on the vaccination rollout. She feels lucky to be able to work with a range of medical professionals so early in her career and hopes to be able to gain a lot of knowledge from working alongside them.
She said: “I take great pride in being able to help my home region during this period. I am working long shifts but am finding it really rewarding to meet and even exceed daily targets knowing that this is helping my local community.
“I have also enjoyed the opportunity to meet and speak to older generations during my work, many of them veterans with lots of interesting stories to share. I am still amazed by how happy they are to be getting vaccinated and how thankful they are for the work the Armed Forces are doing to help during the pandemic.”
Abi is the only one of her friendship group that joined the Army. She feels both sorry for her friends that are having to stay at home or attend online lectures during this period, but fortunate that she can do something so worthwhile.
Abi has a passion for football, she plays for the Army Medical Services Football Club (Women’s Team) and supports Leeds United.