80 years of Royal Voluntary Service
Founded in 1938 as the nation prepared for war, the Women’s Voluntary Services galvanised over a million women to volunteer to support on the home front.
From evacuating children to running air raid precautions, the ‘women in green’ were central to Britain’s defence and resilience.
In the decades that followed, the organisation and its unique philosophy of voluntary service maintained its place at the heart of civic life. It tackled extraordinary
social challenges, from building nuclear bunkers, organising holidays for disadvantaged children, delivering Meals on Wheels to running Darby & Joan clubs.
Today its volunteers are still active and helping in hospitals and communities across Great Britain.
The gift of time – a remarkable story of voluntary service in Britain
Royal Voluntary Service tells its surprising story through a collection of archive photographs. Exhibited alongside are images of today’s volunteers in action, taken by the celebrity photographer Nicky Johnston.
First exhibited at gallery@oxo on London's South Bank we are delighted to have made the exhibition available to view online.