We inspire and enable people to give the gift of voluntary service to meet the needs of the day. Through the power of volunteering, we provide one-to-one, group and online services that improve health and wellbeing, resilience, confidence and connections.
No need has been greater since wartime than the COVID-19 pandemic, and Royal Voluntary Service has been the largest single mobiliser of volunteers to support the COVID response. During the pandemic, our volunteers and staff have made a vital contribution, making hundreds of thousands of welfare and companionship phone calls, essential grocery and prescription deliveries, distributed emergency food packs, delivered activity packs to people living with dementia, made garden gate visits, delivered library books and accompanied clients on walks. They have assisted the NHS with medical equipment supply, patient transport and vaccination services.
We also built a new volunteer army for NHS England, the NHS Volunteer Responders, to shield the NHS and provide practical help to the 2.5 million people most at-risk from COVID-19. The programme represents a volunteering revolution, using technology to register, alert and deploy volunteers quickly, wherever needed. Enabled by the GoodSAM app, the programme has created a safety net of on-call support across England. To date, volunteers have responded to over 2 million help requests. High demand continues and the programme has expanded to support the vaccination programme.
Online, we have established the Virtual Village Hall, a popular activity hub and community that connects people and helps them stay active.
Volunteers will play an important role in the COVID recovery and beyond, and we will continue to support people and communities in need, particularly where there are health inequalities and social deprivation. We will also assist NHS hospitals during seasonal pressures.
To support our volunteers we run a full range of fundraising activities that enable them to continue their vital work.