Make a difference with Royal Voluntary Service

Volunteer to make a difference in your community

TV presenter Rachel Riley visited our Mill End Lunch Club to meet the volunteers and witness first-hand how Royal Voluntary Service provides older people with a chance to eat a nutritious, hot meal in the company of others. The charity has hundreds of volunteer led clubs like this across the country.

Loneliness is one of the worst things in terms of mental health and general wellbeing, so getting people together and having somewhere you can look forward to going to each week is fantastic.  Rachel Riley

We have a range of voluntary roles both in hospitals and in the community to suit your talents and interests. To find opportunities in your area use the search box below:

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Thousands of older people skipping meals and relying on convenience foods

The research, commissioned by Royal Voluntary Service and Yakult to highlight the importance of the charity’s lunch clubs, identified loneliness as often the root cause of these eating habits.

Over one in five over 70s (22%) stated they ate all their daily meals alone each week, rising to over a quarter (26%) of people over 80. Of those who eat most of their meals alone, 38% admit they miss having company at meal times.

Volunteer in your community with Royal Voluntary Service


The study also found over one fifth (21%) cook less than four meals a week from scratch, with 17% saying they miss having someone to cook for (rising to 24% of females) and 8% saying they lost their desire to cook when their partner died.

Eating alone can have a negative impact on people’s health with 41% of over 70s admitting they only sometimes follow a healthy diet. Additionally, one in twenty (5%) often forget to eat, and the equivalent of 390,000 older people (5%) rely on cold foods such as sandwiches to keep them going.
Volunteer in your community with Royal Voluntary Service


About Royal Voluntary Service

Royal Voluntary Service is one of Britain’s largest volunteering charities with over 20,000 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.

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Lunch Clubs
For people who live alone mealtimes can sometimes be lonely, becoming a Lunch Club volunteer not only keeps you active but is a great way to meet new people.
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Home from Hospitals
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



"The volunteers themselves get a lot out of it too because they get to know the people who come in every week."
Rachel Riley, TV presenter
Rachel visited the Mill End Lunch Club to meet all the volunteers.
"The other volunteers are lovely and we all get along so well!"
Jeanette, Royal Voluntary Service volunteer
Janette was inspired to volunteer locally after seeing a feature on TV. She’s helped out at the lunch club 1 day a week for nearly 2 years.
"For me, volunteering takes the stress away, I just go along and enjoy it."
Denzel, Royal Voluntary Service volunteer
Denzel began volunteering at the lunch club 1 day a week, 3 years ago so that he could learn new skills and make new friends.