The charity is currently recruiting volunteers for a range of rewarding roles in hospital settings and in the community, to meet the needs of those most vulnerable.

Royal Voluntary Service also delivers the NHS and Care Volunteers Responders programme with GoodSAM on behalf of NHS England and the Department of Health and Social Care. This provides short-term support to people in need. Newcomers to volunteering are welcome to apply for the many flexible opportunities available with volunteers needed to deliver shopping and prescriptions to vulnerable community members, make friendly phone calls and pick up and deliver medical supplies.

In addition, volunteers are needed at the charity’s shops, cafes, and trolley services to offer refreshments and companionship to patients, hospital staff, and visitors. They also offer lifts to hospital appointments, help out at dementia groups, and give practical and emotional support to more vulnerable patients following a hospital stay.

In total, 25,000 new volunteers are needed to bolster existing efforts and to be on standby ready for the anticipated demand in winter.

Since the NHS’s inception on the 5th of July 1948, Royal Voluntary Service, one of the largest volunteering organisations in Britain has been providing vital, responsive services that support the NHS.

“Through my experience as an ambassador I’ve had the joy of volunteering with Royal Voluntary Service’s hospital trollies. I witnessed the tremendous impact that a volunteer’s friendly presence can have on patients. By simply offering a listening ear, volunteers provide patients with a sense of comfort and companionship during their hospital stay, which can often be a difficult time. If you can, please sign up to volunteer and make a difference in your community.”

Elaine Paige, Royal Voluntary Service Ambassador

“As we mark 75 years of the NHS, we want to thank all the extraordinary volunteers who have supported the NHS since it began. Many of them have volunteered with Royal Voluntary Service and they have made a huge difference.

“And what better way to celebrate the NHS's 75th Birthday than by becoming part of its incredible volunteer team.  Volunteering is a wonderful two-way experience that brings so much joy.”

Catherine Johnstone CBE, Chief Executive of Royal Voluntary Service

“The NHS’s 75th birthday is an apt time to express our enormous gratitude for all those who give up their time to volunteer in the community and in hospitals, going above and beyond to support the health service.

“Many of our dedicated volunteers lend their support through the Royal Voluntary Service, which has been supporting the NHS since its inception, and we are incredibly thankful for their tireless efforts.”

Dame Ruth May, Chief Nursing Officer for England

“Volunteering has been an incredibly fulfilling experience for me. Without the support of volunteers, so many people in our communities would really struggle. It’s important for us to look out for one another and lend a helping hand whenever we can. I’d encourage anyone to give volunteering a go, it’s a rewarding way to make a difference.”

Hawa Maniyar, Royal Voluntary Service Volunteer

Since the very beginning, Royal Voluntary Service volunteers have worked alongside the NHS, from the Second World War to the pandemic, and into the present. 75 years on, the charity’s volunteers can be found in communities and at NHS sites across the UK.

There are so many ways to get involved and support the NHS, volunteering with Royal Voluntary Service and Volunteer Responders allows volunteers to choose the role and style of volunteering that fits in with their life and lifestyle.

Those ready to sign up to support the health and wellbeing of individuals across England can find flexible volunteering opportunities at

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.

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

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