The event took place at the Meadows Centre, where Royal Voluntary Service has a café, to celebrate its volunteers and the support they provide in communities and hospitals.
Her Majesty watched two Find Your Feet beginner dance classes hosted by special guests, Strictly superstar Johannes Radebe and professional dancer and campaigner Tasha Ghouri. The professionals led ballroom and tap sessions, which Her Majesty enjoyed alongside Royal Voluntary Service volunteers and guests.
Dancing features in many Royal Voluntary Service clubs where people gather to stay active, healthy and socially connected. But the wingspan of the charity’s volunteer support extends way beyond to include running lunch clubs and community transport to offering a range of help in hospitals, dementia services and organising much-loved home libraries for those who are isolated at home.
With services across Britain, the charity is encouraging people who might benefit to explore what’s on offer in their local area. There are opportunities for volunteers too. The Royal visit comes as the charity launches its new campaign, Playing My Part, which aims to recruit over 600 volunteers in a variety of roles.
"We are immensely grateful to Her Majesty for her generous support of Royal Voluntary Service, and it has been a joy to show her first-hand the difference our teams are making.
"Every day, volunteers are playing their part in building strong, healthy and connected communities. Feedback from the people we support is that help from Royal Voluntary Service has enabled them to feel less isolated, more confident, in better mental and physical health, and more able to cope. I’m very proud of every single volunteer who has helped us to make a difference, and I hope to welcome more new faces into our teams this year."
Catherine Johnstone CBE, Chief Executive of Royal Voluntary Service
"I’ve also been a volunteer myself, so it was lovely to meet other volunteers and learn about the amazing things they do for people in their communities. It’s such a rewarding thing to do. I think everyone should have a go at volunteering and have the opportunity to see the power it has not just for your cause or the people you support, but for your own wellbeing and happiness."
Tasha Ghouri, Royal Voluntary Service Supporter
"There have been some incredible stories shared today, it has been so moving to hear. Even something as small as stopping by for a cup of tea can mean the world to a person who is feeling lonely or isolated. We need more special people like the volunteers I have met today to step forward and play their part. You never know how much joy you might bring to someone’s life."
Johannes Radebe, Royal Voluntary Service Supporter
"It is wonderful to see Her Majesty The Queen visiting the café at our Meadows Community Centre. The local volunteers and the Royal Voluntary Service Café should be proud of themselves - they dedicate their own time to supporting such great causes. They are a valued asset to the community, and we are pleased to have them here at our community centre."
Cllr Jenny Gawthrope Wood, The Mayor of Cambridge
For further information
Royal Voluntary Service is one of Britain’s largest volunteering charities with volunteers supporting the NHS, adult social care and thousands of vulnerable people in the community. The charity delivers the NHS and Care Volunteer Responders programme for NHS England and the Department of Health and Social Care, enabled by the GoodSAM app, with volunteers responding to over 2.5 million requests for help to support approximately 200,000 people, and completing over 363,000 shifts at vaccination sites.
The charity also works in local communities running home libraries, companionship support, home from hospital services and patient transport. Its Virtual Village Hall provides online activities and classes to promote wellbeing and keep people active.