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

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