HRH The Duchess of Cornwall joins fan making class

Wednesday, 04 December 2019

HRH The Duchess of Cornwall today joined a Royal Voluntary Service First Time for Everything fan making class at the Fan Museum in Greenwich.

The Duchess of Cornwall, who is President of Royal Voluntary Service and Patron of the Fan Museum, took part in the class taught by the museum’s instructor, Caroline Allington, and put the finishing touches to her own fan.

The charity’s First Time for Everything programme was designed by Royal Voluntary Service and Prudential to give older people across the UK an opportunity to try something new for free in their local community. Staying active and social have been proven to be important to keeping fit and well in older age. The events are also an opportunity to introduce people in the community to Royal Voluntary Service and encourage them to find out more about volunteering and the local activities and services on offer.

Research by Royal Voluntary Service in 2017 found that two thirds (65 per cent) of people aged 60 and over wanted to try a new activity, but three in ten (29 per cent) felt there weren’t enough local opportunities to do so. Keen to address this, the charity joined forces with Prudential to launch the First Time for Everything programme.

Since the programme’s launch in January 2017, and thanks to the support of 1243 volunteers, more than 500 Prudential First Time for Everything events have taken place across the UK. Over 5,000 older people to date have come along to try a wide range of new activities, from yoga, paddle boarding and IT skills to British Sign Language, treetop trekking and pottery. According to a recent feedback survey by Royal Voluntary Service, 94% of participants responding said they felt happier after attending an event and 79% felt more connected to their local community.

"We’re delighted our President, HRH The Duchess of Cornwall, was able to take part in a First Time for Everything class today. We’re committed to helping people age well and this programme, which enables older people to enjoy new activities for the first time, is an excellent way of bringing people together and introducing them to a potential new hobby or interest."

Catherine Johnstone CBE, Chief Executive of Royal Voluntary Service

For further information

Royal Voluntary Service is one of the largest voluntary service organisations in Britain. We inspire and enable 20,000 volunteers to help people in need in hospitals, at home and in the community.

Our volunteers improve patient experience in hospital, aid recovery after a stay on ward, help older people support themselves at home, stay fit and active and build meaningful social connections.

Royal Voluntary Service supports volunteers to run services in the community such as lunch and dining clubs, physical activity classes, craft, gardening and other hobby groups. We work collaboratively with other charities, social care providers and the NHS to help create a society where everyone feels valued and involved.

The charity is one of the UK’s largest hospital retailers with 230 volunteer-run shops, cafés and trolley services providing tea and company to patients, hospital staff and visitors.

To become a local volunteer search for volunteering opportunities in your area. Or help make a difference by making a secure online donation.

If you are a member of the press and have a media enquiry please contact the Media Team. For all other enquiries, contact us.

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