Royal Voluntary Service, the charity behind the NHS Volunteer Responders scheme, has launched an emergency appeal to raise £5million in order to continue to support the thousands of older and vulnerable people who benefit from its help, and the large numbers of people contacting the charity seeking support.

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As a result of the coronavirus pandemic, the charity has rapidly adapted its frontline services across Great Britain to support those most in need; through companionship calls, helping people to access food and essential medication, providing transport to medical appointments and helping patients return home from hospital safely, and offering social activities online.

"Our work supports people to stay well at home, enables them to access healthcare and ultimately reduces pressure on the NHS front line. We urgently need funding to support this new way of working and also to help offset daily losses in our regular income. We are needed now more than ever before."

Sam Ward, Director of Services and Deputy CEO, Royal Voluntary Service

"We know that most of the people we help live alone and struggle with loneliness. These people are now having to stay at home, as they are all either over 70 or have health issues. The contact they previously had with our volunteers was often the only chance they had to speak to someone for any length of time. To overcome this, we’ve arranged regular phone calls so that people can still have a chance to chat, as well as make requests for supplies – and to raise the alarm if needs be."

Polly Cooke, Service Manager, Royal Voluntary Service

"In these uncertain and fragile times, the work of organisations like Royal Voluntary Service becomes more essential than ever. Thousands of volunteers and staff are working around the clock to ensure the most vulnerable people in our communities are supported with shopping, prescription deliveries or with companionship phone calls. For many people, these volunteers are their only lifeline. Royal Voluntary Service needs your help to make sure they can keep providing this support to the people who need it most during this most challenging time."

Phillip Schofield, Broadcaster and Royal Voluntary Service Ambassador

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.

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