Royal Voluntary Service
Royal Voluntary Service is a registered charity aiming to enrich the lives of older people by unleashing the power of volunteering.
It is a sad fact that many older people living in the UK today are lonely and becoming increasingly disconnected from their communities as they age. Transition points, such as retirement, the loss of a partner or a health crisis can make people particularly vulnerable. Royal Voluntary Service provides practical solutions to help older people live better lives, where they feel safer, happier, healthier and more valued. We do this thanks to over 35,000 incredible volunteers who support older people every day of the year. We believe that, with support, local communities and older people themselves can put in place their own solutions to tackling loneliness and isolation.
Funding from the Asda Foundation is enabling Royal Voluntary Service to develop two exciting projects which will both help to reduce loneliness and isolation by creating more opportunities for older people to get together.
Sheds are community spaces where people can come together to take part in practical activities, sharing existing skills and learning new ones. Shed activities often involve traditional crafts such as joinery, furniture renovation, metal work and mechanics, but each Shed meets the interests of its members so can include a broad range of activities such as gardening, model making or baking. Over three years, we’ll help communities to create 15 new Sheds, as well as supporting existing Sheds to develop, through practical support and a small grants scheme.
This network of community based Dining Clubs will help to address issues of poor nutrition and loneliness amongst older people. This is really important because it is estimated that 1 in 10 people over 65 living in our communities today are malnourished or at risk of malnourishment (ENHA, 2006). Older people experiencing social exclusion, loneliness or isolation are particularly vulnerable so our dining clubs will give people the chance to build friendships as well as enjoying a nutritious meal. Over three years, we’ll establish 56 new dining clubs, providing a regular, social dining experience for 1,120 older people. We’ll also have a tool kit which will help people to set up dining clubs in their own communities.