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"Volunteering is a great way to meet new people"

At 89 years old, Betty has been a dedicated volunteer with Royal Voluntary Service for nearly three decades, giving her time at the charity's café in Leicester Royal Infirmary. Betty's role goes beyond the boundaries of a simple retail service; she becomes a point of contact and a friendly face, offering kindness and compassion during what can be a difficult or uncertain time for many.

Having run her own catering business, Betty now applies her culinary skills at the hospital café.

"I have previously worked as a caterer, running my own business. So, I was glad I could volunteer at the hospital café and put these skills back to good use.

"Throughout my entire life, my Christian faith has instilled in me a dedicated commitment to the values of kindness and giving back to others. This is what has motivated me to volunteer.

"Over the years, countless people have shown me tremendous kindness and support. In particular, the journey of caring for my daughter during her years of illness inspired a deep desire within me to pay that kindness forward. Volunteering is how I Play My Part."

Volunteering benefits Betty too, helping her to stay socially connected.

"One of the most fulfilling aspects of my volunteer work is the opportunity to connect with people. Volunteering is great way to meet new people. The sense of reward that comes from supporting others during what can be an incredibly challenging time is immeasurable.

"For those who live alone, volunteering is a fabulous way to meet new people and get to know others in the community. You can enrich your life while enriching the lives of others.

"Some may question why someone would volunteer without getting paid, but the inherent rewards of volunteering are more valuable than money. Volunteering brings me so much happiness. It’s something I would encourage everyone to do – just go for it."

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