Two weeks on from its inception, we speak to Steven Grocock about his experience of working at the Portland Covid testing centre and the successful launch of this new local initiative. Working in partnership with Nottingham City Council, the centre is offering free rapid Covid tests for the local community with no appointment necessary and results given in under an hour. We are offering a warm welcome to anyone and everyone within the community as we all seek to play our part in fighting back Covid and protecting those around us.
Why did you want to get involved in working at the testing centre?
Since the outbreak of Covid 19 I have been doing whatever possible in the local community, be that gardening or shopping for neighbours. Having worked and volunteered for Notts County Foundation since 2015, when I saw the Portland Centre was starting the community testing I was more then happy to step up. Having had Covid myself over Christmas, I know that I didn’t have any of the major symptoms when I went for my test. Yet I received a positive result Christmas morning.
What would you say to someone who was hesitant about accessing the centre?
Firstly I have to say that I get it. The idea of having a test is daunting and the prospect of being positive even worse, but as mentioned, I didn’t have any of the known symptoms when I had a positive result. When you arrive at the centre we will meet you at the gate and give you a card with barcodes and a QR code to scan, it takes about 3-5 minutes to register for a test but if you aren’t a whizz on technology we can set it all up for you. All you need is a mobile number or email. Then we take you to the testing area. The test itself is easy and painless. We all have daily tests so we are more then happy to talk you through the process, after that the results take half an hour to develop and within about 35 minutes you will receive the results on your own device.
Come and see us, I promise you will be looked after and we will make the process as easy and straightforward as possible. Let’s work together to get the transmission rates down and the shops, restaurants and sports facilities back open.
What difference do you think the testing centre makes to those who access it?
We have only been open a couple of weeks but we are already seeing the same faces. By coming for an asymptomatic test you are not only giving yourself peace of mind, but also protecting your family, friends and community.
Why do you think the testing centre is important for the local community?
The Meadows is a great community and the one thing I’ve noticed about the diverse community is that they look out for one another. By having a facility like this in your door step it opens up that extra step in the way to things opening up again, back to some kind of normality and families back together again, safely in the knowledge that they did everything they could to protect one another.
Testing Centre Opening Times
The centre will be opening during the following times for members of the local community to drop in and receive their free test:
Tuesday: 8am – 6pm
Wednesday: 7am – 5pm
Thursday: 8am – 6pm
Friday: 8am – 6pm
Saturday: 8.30am – 1pm
(Please note for up-to-date times visit www.nottinghamcity.gov.uk/asymptomatictesting)
About the Portland Centre
The Portland Centre is a community facility operated by Notts County Foundation which offers a wide variety of sporting opportunities to local people. To find out more about the Portland Centre and how you can access its facilities please check out the website here