The beginning and the end
It was sadly during May 1971 that WRVS lost its visionary leader, Lady Reading who, having led the W.V.S. for almost 33 years to the day, collapsed and died in her London home. In 1974 a new permanent Chairman was found and appointed by the Home Secretary, a former politician, Mervyn Pike. The following 20 years under three different Chairman would be challenging.
The landscape of British society was beginning a period of rapid change and WRVS was not always able to adapt and change with it.
Volunteer numbers were slowly beginning to fall as the most capable women found paid work. The organisation, however, persevered and continued doing what it had always done: serving the community through care and compassion.
"We offer no inducement to those who join our ranks beyond the opportunity to give of themselves, but in the years of work done together we have discovered the true meaning of the privilege of service."