Gaby enthusiastically joined fellow volunteers in preparing a delicious meal to the delight of regular diners. Royal Voluntary Service, one of the largest volunteering organisations in Great Britain, runs lunch club services like this one across the country. They serve up friendship and chatter along with tasty hot meals and delicious deserts and are a lifeline to the older and vulnerable members of the community who might otherwise be lonely.
“I thoroughly enjoyed Playing My Part and volunteering at the Mill End Lunch Club. Tackling loneliness is something I am passionate about and it’s at epidemic proportions in the UK. To witness the importance and difference these lunch clubs make for the diners is heart-warming. My admiration goes out to the incredible volunteers who make such an effort to create these memorable gatherings.
“Beyond the act of giving back to the community, volunteering is a two-way street. Working alongside other volunteers, preparing food, and sharing laughter brings immense joy. Volunteering is a simple way to brighten your day and is something I’d recommend everyone has a go at."
Gaby Roslin, Royal Voluntary Service Supporter
Gaby's visit marks the launch of the charity’s #playingmypart campaign, which aims to attract over 600 volunteers for the charity’s vital services while showcasing the personal benefits of volunteering.
According to Royal Voluntary Service research, 86% of its volunteers feel a strong sense of connection to their community, 78% say volunteering boosts their confidence, and 79% state that it improves their mental health. The volunteers are also happier and less anxious than the population at large.
“Volunteering is an opportunity for everyone to Play Their Part in their community. Royal Voluntary Service welcomes volunteers from all walks of life, who are motivated by various reasons to offer their skills, time and talents. Whether you’re looking to give back to the NHS, make an impact on your community, or are looking to explore a meaningful and fulfilling way to spend your spare time, I’m certain we have an exciting and rewarding role for you.
"Volunteering is the heartbeat of our communities. Our research demonstrates that not only is it a chance to make a tangible difference in the lives of others but also a powerful force for personal growth, wellbeing, and fulfilment.”
Catherine Johnstone CBE, Chief Executive of Royal Voluntary Service
Preeti Shetty co-ordinates volunteers at the Mill End Lunch Club and stars in the new Royal Voluntary Service advertising campaign.
“I love spending time with my fellow volunteers and all the lunch club members. We’re always smiling and it feels great to give back to my community and play my part.
“Helping others is really important to me. The diners are always so appreciative of what we provide – and it makes it all so rewarding."
For those eager to embark on their volunteering journey and make a difference in communities and the NHS across England, Scotland, and Wales, visit Playing My Part.
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.