Hospital Volunteers Step Forward To Support The NHS

Hospital volunteers have responded generously to growing pressure faced by local NHS services this winter with the offer to give even more of their time at Forth Valley Royal Hospital in Larbert.

Royal Voluntary Service has been supporting the NHS since its inception 70 years ago and today the charity has thousands of volunteers providing comfort and compassion to staff and patients through its cafés, shops and legendary ward trolleys. Last year, its volunteers offered extra shifts during the very busy winter season in a number of NHS Boards – and they have stepped up again this year to help ease the strain.

During January and February 2019, the charity’s volunteers will be conducting extra rounds with their trolleys and providing free water and fruit to patients, visitors and staff teams alike. Extra stops at the Emergency Department and Outpatient Clinics will ensure that any patients waiting to be seen will be offered some free refreshment.

Catherine Johnstone CBE, Chief Executive at Royal Voluntary Service said: “Having seen the challenges facing NHS services this winter on a daily basis, our volunteers said they would like to do more for the people we support. Their generosity will allow Royal Voluntary Service to send out more trolleys, give faster service and just to be there with a hand of friendship to those who need it most at challenging times. I’ve been overwhelmed by the response to us asking our valued volunteers to do more, but essentially they wanted to do what they have always done and do so brilliantly; roll their sleeves up and pitch in to help. We are incredibly grateful for their support.”

Elaine Kettings, Head of Person Centred Care, NHS Forth Valley, said: “The Royal Voluntary Service volunteers do a fantastic job and these extra trolley rounds are much appreciated by local patients and visitors. Little things like free fruit and water can make a big difference to patient experience, especially at this busy time of year.”

Royal Voluntary Service has worked with its suppliers who have agreed to gift fruit and water. Suppliers include: AF Blakemore & Son Ltd, Ginsters, Brake Bros Ltd, Fulfil UK, Britvic Soft Drinks, Lucozade Ribena Suntory, Walkers PepsiCo, Dandelion, Mondelez, Lucid Direct, Williams of Swansea and Danone Waters.

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 simple acts of kindness our volunteers provide, offering practical and emotional support at difficult times, whether accompanying people to GP or hospital appointments or preventing pyjama paralysis with strength and balance exercises on ward,  help make communities stronger and relieve the pressure on overstretched public services. The charity is also one of the largest retailers in the NHS, with its network of cafes and shops providing a valued haven in hospitals.

For more information about Royal Voluntary Service please visit or call 0845 608 0122.