RVS launch new initiative to reduce burden on ambulance services

RVS launch new initiative to reduce burden on ambulance services

Royal Voluntary Service is one of the largest volunteer organisations in the country. Their 25,000 volunteers help older people stay active, independent and able to contribute to society.

Originally set up as the Women’s Voluntary Service (subsequently the WRVS) in 1938, the charity started out helping civilians during the Second World War.

To mark the 75th anniversary in 2013, the name was changed to ‘Royal Voluntary Service’ to reflect the role played by all volunteers, men as well as women.

The charity delivers volunteer and community led services which help older people to look after themselves better and build social connections. Services that support older people after a stay in Hospital, at home and that improve quality of life through social activities.

Royal Voluntary Service also believes in people being able to solve the problems that are important to older people in their communities and supports volunteers to run services such as lunch and dining clubs, craft groups, gardening groups and many more.

The charity is one of the largest retailers in the NHS with 400 shops and cafes run by volunteers across the UK who provide tea and company to Hospital patients and visitors while raising funds to support the charity’s community work.

They work together with other charities, social care providers and the NHS to help create a society where everyone feels valued and involved.

Royal Voluntary Service has ‘Investing in Volunteers’ status in recognition of its good practice and effective volunteer management.

They are launching a new initiative in London aimed at reducing the frequency of calls to the Ambulance Service.

Calling on Londoners to give a few hours of their time each week this new service being piloted in Hackney and Merton, aims to help their older neighbours live independently at home.

Volunteers are needed to provide vital practical and emotional help to older people who will be referred to the charity by the London Ambulance Service.

The support given will improve physical wellbeing and alleviate loneliness and is intended to reduce the frequency of calls to the ambulance service as a result of a fall. By assisting their older neighbours to go for a short walk or do some gentle exercises to strengthen their muscles, volunteers will play a significant role in reducing the person’s risk of falls.

In addition, as part of the ‘Supporting you at Home’ service, the volunteer will also provide practical support and guidance on nutrition and hydration as well as encouragement to motivate people to get out of their home and socialise more by joining local clubs or activities.

Royal Voluntary Service is looking to recruit volunteers who are local to Hackney and Merton, especially those from BME backgrounds to reflect the communities in which the services will be based.

Volunteers will be asked to make at least a six-month commitment to the project and should be available to start in September 2017. Two full days of training will be provided to all volunteers.

To find out more information about how to become a volunteer, please contact Helen Ko, Active Ageing Project Coordinator on 07766 998712 or email helen.ko@royalvoluntaryservice.org.uk