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Our emergency response to COVID-19

Royal Voluntary Service mobilises volunteers to support the health and wellbeing of their communities.

As part of Royal Voluntary Service’s emergency response to COVID-19 we rapidly remodelled our services so that we could continue to help vulnerable people who rely on our support.

Between March 2020 - March 2021, our teams:

  • made 303,160 welfare and companionship telephone calls, providing much needed social contact and checking that people were safe and well. Many of these calls lasted over an hour
  • delivered more than 16,247 essential grocery and prescription drops to people’s homes
  • distributed over 20,234 free food packs to vulnerable people at home and to NHS teams
  • carried out over 8,139 patient and community transport journeys
  • sent out over 38,485 activity packs to help people keep mentally and physically active at home
  • made over 25,700 socially distanced home visits, bringing much needed companionship and books to people’s doorsteps.

We asked our volunteers and the people they help about the difference that Royal Voluntary Service made to their lives during the crisis.

What our volunteers told us about volunteering with Royal Voluntary Service during the pandemic:

  • 97% said they felt they were making a difference by volunteering with Royal Voluntary Service
  • 68% said it helped them to feel less isolated
  • 69% said volunteering gave them new skills and experience
  • 81% felt it improved their mental health and wellbeing
  • 84% said volunteering brought them into contact with people from different backgrounds or cultures
  • 94% said it gave them a sense of purpose
  • 77% said that volunteering during the Coronavirus crisis had helped them to stay connected to their community.

Vulnerable people told us that the support they received from Royal Voluntary Service volunteers during the pandemic made an important difference to their lives:

  • 89% said that the support we’ve been providing had helped them to feel less lonely
  • 83% said the support had helped them to feel more able to cope
  • 75% said it had helped them to feel less anxious
  • 83% said that it had helped them to feel more confident that there would be someone they could call on in a crisis or emergency.