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What we're saying

Computer lesson at WRVS Hanley Centre

Find out about the people behind Royal Voluntary Service in our series of guest stories from our volunteers, staff and partners.

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"It’s possible to look after your family and also leave a legacy, which is what I have planned to do."

There are lots of ways that people choose to support Royal Voluntary Service, one of the most valuable, is through a legacy. Our long-serving volunteer Alice Cleland has decided to do just that: legacy a gift in her Will to Royal Voluntary Service.

The gift of time

Alice has been volunteering with Royal Voluntary Service since 1977.

When she first joined the charity, Alice was recruited for the Emergency Team and later managed the Emergency Service in Wiltshire. Over the next 20 years she was involved in a variety of roles. During the Gulf War, Alice and her colleagues were trained to deliver messages from the front-line to the families of soldiers.

Since the early 90’s, Alice has played a fundamental role in the running and upkeep of Royal Voluntary Service’s archive. With over 30,000 articles, keepsakes and uniforms the archive is home to the charity’s rich heritage. Working alongside our staff, Alice has conducted many roles at the archive; contributing towards the production of the archive newsletter (The Heritage Bulletin) and encouraging volunteers to donate their historic documents to the archive.

Matthew McMurray, Royal Voluntary Service Archivist, commented “Alice founded an Archive Support Group to bring people together who could each play a fundamental role in supporting the archive for many years. Our archive is all about volunteering. It’s vitally important to our volunteers that they preserve their own legacies. Volunteers are invaluable; if we don’t know the answer to a question, volunteers like Alice can always help!”

Alice told us why she has decided to support us in this way;

“I feel very comfortable talking about legacies and I think people talk about it a lot more these days.

My generation is very much of the opinion that we are not going to sacrifice everything for the sake of our children – we have worked hard and will make our own choices on what happens to any money that is left. So, we consider what else we might do with money and that includes considering leaving a gift to a charity. Having volunteered for Royal Voluntary Service most of my life, the choice of which charity was an easy one for me.

I have talked more about legacies with my Royal Voluntary Service friends since another friend left a legacy in her Will, and it made us think about our own options.

I have had such a lovely time volunteering for Royal Voluntary Service and it has given me the chance to achieve things I wouldn't have believed I could.

I think my family are proud of me – my achievements are much more important to them than my money! They were very proud when I got my CBE and took me to a very special lunch to celebrate. When I won the Royal Voluntary Service Local Hero award, my 4 year old grandson rang me up and said "Well done, Granny.”

Mostly I think people feel they must pass on everything to their children. I believe that it’s possible to look after your family and also leave a legacy, which is what I have planned to do.

I won’t be specifying what Royal Voluntary Service should allocate my legacy to – in terms of the money going to a particular project or area – as I think it is kinder not to. That way it can be used for the most important cause at the time and I trust that the right decisions will be made.

To find out more about legacy giving for Royal Voluntary Service, please visit here. Lots of information about how you can help and you'll find two information leaflets to download. 

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.

Posted by at 00:00 Wednesday, 09 January 2019.