The Royal Voluntary Service is a national charity that helps those wishing to give back to their local community find a voluntary role that is right for them. The charity is built on local volunteering foundations, providing support to the people that need it most in hospitals and within the wider community.
For over 80 years, the Royal Voluntary Service has inspired over three million people to gift their time to help others, with 500,000 days of volunteering provided each year. Community is at the heart of our ethos, so we are proud to be able to offer to support to RVS to further help our local communities.
Two of our team members that have joined the charity’s volunteer programme are Esther Hunting, our Regional Head of Customer Operations and Emily Nesbitt, our Regional Marketing Director.
They explain what spurred them to volunteer their time and how they are enjoying giving back to their communities:
What volunteering role do you do for Royal Voluntary Service?
Esther: I am part of the NHS responder team for the check in and chat service, which provides telephone support for those that are self-isolating or are shielding due to being vulnerable.
Emily: Taking on the role of an NHS Volunteer Responder involves delivering shopping to those in need, picking up prescriptions and also taking the time to checking in for a chat over the phone.
What motivated you to become an NHS Volunteer Responder?
Esther: I wanted to help out in some way when I heard that volunteers were needed for the NHS, but most of the roles were during the daytime when I was working whereas with this role you can just simply switch on the app when you’re available.
Emily: In a time of national need, it felt like it was the least I could do and where I can, I have been pleased to pledge my time. Working full time and having two children means it is not always possible to take up every request, but the role is very flexible and there is no obligation to honour each and every ask.
What have you enjoyed about being an NHS Volunteer Responder?
Esther: I really enjoy speaking to older people and have found the majority I have spoken to via the app using this service are older. It’s interesting to hear their story and you feel you are making a little difference to someone’s day just by chatting.
Emily: With as little as an hour of my time needed, it has felt like a small thing to give back. It’s also been great to be able to fit around my existing commitments.
If anyone was unsure about becoming a volunteer, what advice would you give them?
Esther: I would definitely encourage anyone to download the RVS app even if you’re only free once a week. It’s really easy to use as you get an alert which goes out to lots of volunteers when someone is requesting a chat. If you’re free you can accept, and you then get sent a message with their name and telephone number.
Emily: Volunteering with Royal Volunteer Service is a good option if you’re keen to give something back, as you are in control of the tasks you undertake, even if it’s once a month, it will make a difference to someone!
Anyone can volunteer their talents, skills and experience, and when you volunteer with Royal Voluntary Service, whether you have a specific role in mid or you want to start something new, the charity will support you every step of the way. If you’re interested in gifting your time to make a difference, then visit: www.royalvoluntaryservice.org.uk