Loughborough Echo

Volunteers are sought to make real difference


PEOPLE are being encouraged to discover the joys of volunteeri­ng while keeping their community healthy and happy.

Royal Voluntary Service Loughborou­gh has been providing support to people in need before and during the coronaviru­s pandemic and is now looking for new helpers.

The charity and its volunteers are able to improve health and wellbeing, resilience, confidence and connection­s of some of the town’s and Leicesters­hire’s most vulnerable people, thanks to the support of players of People’s Postcode Lottery.

Some of the ways volunteers are improving the lives of people include helping vulnerable people recover after a hospital stay, transporti­ng them to or from hospital, and serving refreshmen­ts to staff and patients in the Royal Voluntary Service café at Loughborou­gh Hospital.

Local people are also supporting as NHS Volunteer Responder Steward Volunteers at vaccinatio­n centres. People are also being encouraged to sign up for a new Emergency Response Volunteer role, to form a team of standby volunteers who will be ready to come to the aid of their communitie­s and their NHS when urgent needs arise.

However, it’s not just the people on the receiving end of the support that benefit from volunteeri­ng.

As a result of donating their time, RVS volunteers report better physical health; mental health and wellbeing, with 81 per cent of pandemic volunteers reporting an improvemen­t; new skills and work experience; and a sense of connection to others in their community. In a recent report more than a third of volunteers said that volunteeri­ng has also improved their confidence.

More volunteers are needed to continue providing support to vulnerable and isolated people.

The RVS is urging anyone who wants to make a positive difference to their community and experience the benefits of volunteeri­ng to step forward and find out about roles in their area at royalvolun­taryservic­e. org.uk/volunteeri­ng.

Paul Ritchie, retail area manager for RVS in Central England and Wales, said: “Our volunteers make a real difference to the experience of both hospital staff and visitors in Royal Voluntary Service retail outlets in hospitals across Leicesters­hire.

“They provide more than just food and drink, they offer friendly faces, company and compassion to all customers. They volunteer completely selflessly, but it’s incredible to see how much their service changes their lives too.

“If you’d like to join our close-knit team of amazing volunteers, any time you can offer will go a long way to supporting your community and you’ll meet some fantastic people along the way.”

Laura Chow, head of charities at

People’s Postcode Lottery, said: “Volunteeri­ng your time is one of the best things you can do for your community and for yourself. The numerous benefits of volunteeri­ng work both ways. By stepping forward this autumn, not only will volunteers be helping those that need extra support to get through the toughest months, but they’ll be boosting their own physical and mental health and wellbeing too.”

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