Urgent call for next generation of charity volunteers to take up roles in their communities

The Royal Voluntary Service has issued an urgent call for people to take on volunteering roles in their communities as many long-standing supporters retire.

The charity is asking younger recruits, many of whom volunteered during the pandemic, to continue in the long term.

According to the charity, younger people have much to gain from volunteering and it can be a powerful antidote to the lost experiences and personal struggles of the virus crisis.

Research by the RVS among 18 to 24-year-olds suggested half say the pandemic has affected their mental health, with issues such as a loss in confidence and lack of work-related skills.

Aruni Kangeyan, 21, from Stoke Madeville, who signed up to be an NHS Volunteer Responder, said: “Volunteering has helped boost my self-confidence and communication skills by allowing me to engage with a variety of people.

“Volunteering helps to de-stress which is important for those in school or university – giving time for yourself and others in a non-taxing way is fulfilling”

Catherine Johnstone, chief executive of the RVS, said: “Unfortunately, but entirely understandably, some of our long-standing volunteers are looking to take a break or retire post-pandemic.

“This is not unique to Royal Voluntary Service.

“We are now calling on the next generation of volunteers to step forward. Together we can offer vital support to the NHS and this country’s most vulnerable people, ahead of what will be a difficult winter.

“Any time you can offer will go a long way not only to improve the health and wellbeing of your community, but also to boost your own confidence, mental health and life experience.”

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