This month, Royal Voluntary Service is celebrating receiving a staggering £5m from players of People’s Postcode Lottery and Royal Voluntary Service ambassador and dance legend Wayne Sleep OBE was on hand to say thank you to players of People’s Postcode Lottery as he made a guest appearance at our volunteer-run dance club in Banbury, Oxfordshire.

Players have been supporting Royal Voluntary Service since 2015, raising funds to provide vital services and activities that enable older people across Great Britain to stay connected to their communities and improve their health and wellbeing. This includes using players’ funds to empower volunteers to develop and run groups and clubs for older people in their area.

Volunteers can set up groups like the International Dance Club which takes place every Monday at Royal Voluntary Service’s Cornhill Centre in Banbury. The club was recently visited by dance legend and Royal Voluntary Service ambassador, Wayne Sleep OBE who came to join in the dancing and meet some of the club members and dedicated volunteers who run it. Whilst there he also took some time out to celebrate the amazing £5m milestone by recording a message of thanks to players of the People’s Postcode Lottery.

"It was a delight to welcome Wayne to our dance club and show off our moves. Everyone was very excited to meet him. The club is open to anyone over 60 (we currently have about 35 members) and the primary aim is to bring people together, help them stay active and keep their aches and pains at bay whilst having fun on the dance floor. I’ve been volunteering for the club for 7 years now and love teaching members new dances and steps. It really doesn’t matter if people get it wrong, it’s just about having a good time. I also benefit through seeing people’s enjoyment and it’s a fantastic way to keep active myself."

Royal Voluntary Service volunteer dance teacher at the Cornhill Centre, Avis Gallager

Players of People’s Postcode Lottery have helped Royal Voluntary Service provide companionship, practical help and social activities for 30,000 older people and support over 400 volunteer-led groups and services.

"I’d like to say a heartfelt thank you to players of People’s Postcode Lottery. This funding is really important to us and makes a real difference to the lives of thousands of older people each month. The dance club in Banbury is a great example of how communities can work together to improve the lives of older people and with the funding from players of People’s Postcode Lottery, we hope to be able to develop more volunteer-led clubs similar to this and which appeal to all tastes and interests."

Catherine Johnstone CBE, Royal Voluntary Service Chief Executive

"Players of People's Postcode Lottery have awarded an incredible £5 million to Royal Voluntary Service since 2015, enabling the charity to offer vital services to the older people of Great Britain. We are delighted that our players are supporting Royal Voluntary Service, giving many older people the chance to stay connected, get out and about and socialise."

Clara Govier, Head of Charities at People's Postcode Lottery

Royal Voluntary Service is one of Britain’s largest volunteering charities with over 25,000 volunteers supporting over 100,000 older people each month in hospitals and the community. The focus is on building confidence, improving well-being and keeping loneliness at bay through an array of social activities and more structured support. The charity is also one of the largest retailers in the NHS, with its network of cafes and shops providing a valued haven in hospitals.

For further information

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.