Dame Patricia Routledge DBE

Patricia Routledge, a Royal Voluntary Service Ambassador
An Ambassador of Royal Voluntary Service for over five years, Dame Patricia Routledge takes great pride in her association with Royal Voluntary Service and finds it a great privilege to be involved with a charity that helps so many people throughout the country.

The award-winning actress has been familiar with our work since childhood when during the Second World War she was very aware of the vital contribution the WVS was making to the war effort.

She has always been interested and impressed by the movement and is always ready to help promote the history and value the organisation has made to society and the role of volunteers and volunteering within it.

"Royal Voluntary Service is as important now as it was 80 years ago. Service and care cannot always be provided by government or councils and Royal Voluntary Service provides such needed care."

Dame Patricia Routledge in 2018, the year of our 80th anniversary
At that time, she visited Compassion in Crisis, the exhibition chronicling 80 years of voluntary service at the Wiltshire Museum in Devizes which offered a rare opportunity to get a glimpse of some of the objects, uniforms and records preserved by the Royal Voluntary Service Heritage Collection. The exhibition looked at the prominent role of WVS in emergencies during the war and how it developed in the post-war world. It also reflected on how voluntary service, and what it means to be a volunteer, has changed in the 21st century.

Patricia was on hand the previous year at a dedication event at the Blue Boar Bar in Westminster, the former headquarters of the Women’s Voluntary Services where our founder, Stella Reading was commemorated by English Heritage with a blue plaque.

To coincide with the event, Royal Voluntary Service made available 31,401 pages of diaries from 1938-1942 from more than 1,300 different cities, towns and villages across Great Britain. Written at a time when one in ten women in Britain was a member of the WVS, they tell the extraordinary stories of ordinary women and are available for free on our online archive, Heritage Online.

Patricia continues to support the charity and our volunteers at our annual carol concert.

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