Volunteer to make a difference in your community

Royal Voluntary Service ambassador and Dancer Wayne Sleep OBE, visited our social centre in Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent to meet volunteers and participants from a local line dancing group and witnessed first-hand how these sorts of groups are helping older people to stay active whilst staying socially connected.

The charity has hundreds of volunteer-led groups and clubs like this across the country and would like more people to consider setting one up. Whether it’s helping to run a dance group or one of our many other activity clubs, doing some Move it or Lose it chair based exercises with an older person in their home or setting up a walking group in your area, volunteers make a tangible difference to those they support and enable them to lead happier and healthier lives.

The volunteers I’ve met today are just amazing. Not only are they giving their time to run these brilliant dance classes for people in their community, they are staying active too. It’s clear from the dancer’s smiles, noisy chatter and laughter, that this group is so  important, and is a welcoming place for people to get together regularly with friends and connect with others.  Wayne Sleep

Wayne Sleep visits Royal Voluntary Service volunteers in Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent

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Thousands of older people are missing out on health benefits of exercising with others

According to research commissioned by Royal Voluntary Service and Yakult to highlight the range of fitness and activity groups run by Royal Voluntary Service volunteers, almost half (48%) of over 70s self-confess they are not fit enough.

The charity, which supports older people to stay fit and active whatever their fitness and mobility level, believes regular exercise in company could be the motivating factor.

Social Clubs from Royal Voluntary Service


Over three quarters (76%) of older people who do attend an exercise class or group enjoy the camaraderie, 69% relish the social aspect and 59% have made new friends since joining the group. Almost two thirds (59%) say that the group lifts their spirits, over half (51%) that their health has improved since attending and 39% that they are motivated by others in the group.

It seems more men are likely to be missing out on the notable mental and physical benefits of exercising with others however, as the study also identified that three times as many women as men take part in a weekly exercise class or group.
Volunteer in Social Clubs from Royal Voluntary Service


About Royal Voluntary Service

Royal Voluntary Service is one of Britain’s largest volunteering charities with volunteers supporting thousands of people each month in hospitals and in the community.  The charity is also one of the largest retailers in the NHS, with its network of cafés and shops providing a valued haven in hospitals.



In partnership with

Yakult in partnership with Royal Voluntary Service

Featured opportunities

Hospital Trolleys

Our much-loved trolley services deliver newspapers and magazines, snacks and drinks to hospital wards across Great Britain. Increase your steps and put a smile on patients’ faces at the same time.

Find out more
Social Clubs and Events
Our volunteer-led clubs, groups and events are a great way to stay active and social not only for people who join in but also for our volunteers. Volunteer at one of our Social Clubs and Events or start something new in your area.
Find out more
Home from Hospital
Get out and about in the community helping people to get back on their feet after a stay in hospital, regain their independence and reduce their chance of being readmitted.
Find out more



"Volunteering keeps me fit, both in body and mind."
Alan, Royal Voluntary Service volunteer
Alan volunteers as a dance teacher at our Royal Voluntary Service Centre in Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent.
"The classes mean that participants get enjoyment and fun from dance but also get to know more people."
Marie, Royal Voluntary Service volunteer
Marie volunteers as a dance teacher at our Royal Voluntary Service Centre in Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent
"I enjoy volunteering as I get to meet new people and see how they improve each week through my teaching."
Pauline, Royal Voluntary Service volunteer
Pauline volunteers as a dance teacher at our Royal Voluntary Service Centre in Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent.
"Volunteering is a wonderful gift. By giving just an hour or so a week or month, can make a huge difference to someone’s life."
Wayne Sleep, Royal Voluntary Service Ambassador
Wayne visited our social club in Hanley to meet the volunteers and participants.