Rebuilding and the Welfare State

1945 – 1950

Rebuilding and the Welfare StateAfter Victory in Europe, the contribution and purpose of the W.V.S. began to be questioned. However, the Home Office realised that the country could not do without the W.V.S. as their knowledge and experience would be vital in rebuilding a country exhausted by war.

Initially given two years to prove its worth, W.V.S. transformed itself. Using the skills it forged during war, W.V.S. began to roll out social welfare projects. These included, among others, their most famous invention, Meals on Wheels, as well as residential homes and day clubs for the elderly, holidays for disadvantaged children and work in hospitals.

Perhaps the most important scheme during this period was the Oxford Home Help Scheme which provided support in people’s homes. It became a subject of a Government White Paper and the blueprint for Local Authority social care schemes, allowing W.V.S. to become a vital cog in the development of the emerging Welfare State.

"I am certain that all who can will give of their time, energy and thought, realising that this period of transition is of the utmost importance to the nation and to the future of our children."

Lady Reading


Logo 1945

Royal Voluntary Service A job for women poster