Royal Voluntary Service calls on people in Leeds and York to help communities through winter crisis

Lisa Belletty, health and wellbeing advisor at People’s Postcode Lottery.Lisa Belletty, health and wellbeing advisor at People’s Postcode Lottery.
Lisa Belletty, health and wellbeing advisor at People’s Postcode Lottery.
People in Leeds and York are being urged to volunteer for an hour each week or more to help their community through a difficult winter ahead.

The Royal Voluntary Service is today launching its Hour of Need campaign, supported by players of People’s Postcode Lottery.

It calls for a repeat of the "groundswell of generosity and positivity" seen in March when people stepped forward to volunteer and to help see the NHS and the most vulnerable people through lockdown safely.

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The charity reports that more than 4.9 million over-50s, many with health conditions and without family nearby, say they would benefit from such help this winter.

In Yorkshire and the Humber, research has that almost a third of people are concerned about the lack of support their friends or family will have access to throughout winter, it added.

Requests for help from the vulnerable and the NHS are rapidly increasing and volunteers are needed in Leeds and York to support with a range of valuable services, whether flexible or regular volunteering, says the charity, which is one of Britain’s largest volunteering organisations.

There are a variety of roles available from helping vulnerable people recover after a hospital stay and transporting them to or from hospital, serving refreshments to NHS staff and patients, to supporting as an NHS Volunteer Responder with shopping, friendly phone calls or stewarding at vaccination centres.

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Jennifer Scott, commissioned service operations manager for Royal Voluntary Service in Leeds and York, said: “It’s already been an incredibly tough year for both our clients and the NHS, and the new lockdown presents even more challenges.

"The truth is that the more volunteers we have on board, the faster our communities will recover. If you can spare even just an hour a week you’ll be doing an amazing thing for your community.”

Lisa Belletty, health and wellbeing advisor at People’s Postcode Lottery, said: “We’re delighted that players of People’s Postcode Lottery have been able to support Royal Voluntary Service in its incredible efforts throughout the crisis so far.

"We now stand by the charity in its call for thousands more volunteers to help us move forward in the next phase of the fight against COVID-19.”

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Thousands of volunteers will be required nationwide to assist and protect the NHS by supporting the most vulnerable patients to stay safe and well, says the charity.

The public can explore a range of volunteering opportunities by visiting the ‘Hour of Need’ campaign on the Royal Voluntary Service website: