REWARDING volunteers proved to be a piece of cake for hard working students who thanked them for their vaccination efforts with a hearty afternoon tea.

Vaccination volunteers had manned the pop-up clinic and car park at the Forum through all weathers as Northallerton residents attended for their COVID-19 jabs.

And they weren’t put off by torrential rain as they enjoyed their alfresco afternoon tea organised by staff and students at Northallerton School & Sixth Form College.

Year 9 students spent the morning baking a host of tasty treats, including cakes and quiches, while Year 7 students decorated the site with bunting and thanked the vaccination volunteers for their work.

Abi Wilkin, 12, told guests: “My grandpa died from COVID which was a blow for my whole family. My grandma had her vaccination which meant we could meet up again and help her through a very difficult time. So thank you for your hard work and for helping to roll out the vaccination programme.”

Sophia Nicholson, 12, said: “Thank you for taking the time and effort, for making such a difference and for giving us a sense of hope.”

Seren Walters, 12, added: “We are so very hopeful for the future and the volunteers have definitely helped us get there.”

Hanna Holden, 12, said: “The vaccination programme has meant that we can now meet my grandma who has been sick through the pandemic.”

Operations manager Anna Wilson said students were delighted to be able to give something back to the community. She added: “It was their idea to invite the volunteers for afternoon tea and they organised the whole event. They did a fantastic job and we are very proud of them.”

Volunteer Garry Fenlan was thrilled to be invited for tea. He said: “They have produced a wonderful spread for us and it is really appreciated. We were only too pleased to volunteer and help our community. Some of the more vulnerable people we met had not been out of their houses in 12 months.”

Volunteer Alexe Roberts, who attended with her husband Jonathan, added: “We didn’t get to meet many of the other volunteers as we worked different shifts and during the bad weather we were covered up in masks and woolly hats, so the tea was a great opportunity to catch up. It was so nice of the students to do this for us.”