Royal Voluntary Service and its dedicated volunteers have been able to continue providing people with vital support, which is needed now more than ever, thanks to the funding raised by players.
More than £13 million has been raised thanks to players of People's Postcode Lottery. This money is supporting its work in communities across Britain.
In communities across Britain, volunteers are helping to make sure that their older and more vulnerable neighbours have food and other essential items delivered.
As well as ensuring they can get to urgent medical appointments and are phoned up regularly for a chat and a check on their welfare.
It’s so important to make sure that volunteers can carry out their roles safely and they’ve provided clear guidance to them on how to safely support someone who is self-isolating and what to do if they have a concern about someone’s welfare.
Volunteers are also continuing to provide crucial help to people who are adjusting from a crisis situation, such as being discharged from hospital, despite needing to limit face to fact contact. They are working to ensure everything is in place for a safe return home and that they have everything they need for when they arrive, and then providing regular check-ins over the phone.
Usually, Royal Voluntary Service helps older people stay connected to their communities through a network of volunteer run groups, providing a range of activities from lunch clubs to craft sessions, coffee mornings to dance classes. Sadly, it has had to pause these groups as we all follow the social distancing rules but has taken some of the activities online through its Virtual Village Hall, where people can try out new activities including arts, crafts and cookery for free.
This support makes a real difference to people’s lives, with older people letting the charity know that they feel happier, have more social contact and feel more connected to their communities as a result of these services and activities. During the current crisis, the volunteers are providing a vital lifeline to many.
And it’s not just of benefit to those they are helping - the volunteers also really benefit from having opportunities to make a positive contribution to their communities. They have said that through their volunteering roles they feel more connected to their communities, have the chance to put their skills to good use and feel physical and emotional wellbeing benefits.