To mark the occasion, Leicester Tigers’ Ben Youngs joined Royal Voluntary Service volunteers Lisa and Steph in bringing snacks and smiles to patients on the wards of Leicester General.

The rumble of the trolley’s wheels is a comforting sound to many, and is particularly welcomed by patients who might not have any visitors, or may not be able to get to the shop for treats and essentials themselves. Patients were particularly excited yesterday, when they recognised England’s most capped male player from behind the trolley. 

"What an afternoon we had taking the trolley to visit patients on the wards. It was really good to see how much everyone was looking forward to seeing the volunteers, you can tell that for the patients it’s about so much more than what’s on the trolley. And the volunteers have a great time too, laughing and chatting with everyone, it was brilliant to see and be part of.

"I would recommend trolley volunteering to anyone. With a bigger team of volunteers, Royal Voluntary Service could take the trolley out even more regularly and help even more people tackle the long hospital days!”

Leicester Tigers’ Ben Youngs 

With volunteers at the helm, the trolley is taken out across all wards of the hospital, currently three days a week, brightening up the days of countless patients. But Royal Voluntary Service is calling for more volunteers to help out with the iconic trolley, so that it can bring joy to more patients, every day of the week.

"Our Leicester General trolley has been bringing snacks, essentials and smiles to patients on wards for 50 years. It was great to have Ben with us today to mark the special occasion and see what trolley volunteering is all about.

"The volunteers love to visit, chat and laugh with patients, which can mean the world to people who might be experiencing a tough time in hospital. It’s a hugely rewarding and social role, and we hope to welcome new people to our team so that we can continue to be there for University Hospitals of Leicester for the next 50 years."

Catherine Johnstone CBE, Chief Executive of Royal Voluntary Service

"The Royal Voluntary Service trolley service provides a hugely valuable service to many patients and wards at Leicester General Hospital. It gives patients the chance to make choices and feel more independent, plus the chance to enjoy socialising with the volunteers. It can relieve boredom and provide patients with a link outside of their ward. 

"We're so grateful to the amazing Royal Voluntary Service volunteers who come in to take the trolley round and brighten up patients' days. The Trust fully supports and involves volunteers in all areas of our hospitals and we look forward to many more years of working alongside Royal Voluntary Service."

Head of Patient Experience at University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust, Sue McLeod

Volunteers are also needed in rewarding roles at the charity’s shop and café at the hospital, as well as at its cafés at the nearby Leicester Royal Infirmary.

Profits generated by Royal Voluntary Service hospital retail services help the charity to fund its work supporting the NHS and those most vulnerable in the community. 

To find out more about volunteering with Royal Voluntary Service in Leicester, visit


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 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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