The Duchess of Cornwall with RVS volunteers.

The Duchess of Cornwall has sent a message of thanks and support to volunteers across the country at the start of Volunteers’ Week. 

“The first week of June is traditionally Volunteers’ Week, when we celebrate our unsung heroes. This year in particular, we owe a great debt of thanks to all our wonderful volunteers, who have stepped forward in astonishing numbers, pulling together to support those affected by COVID-19. As the very proud President of the Royal Voluntary Service, I should like to say that you truly are the backbone of our country. To each and every volunteer – thank you from the bottom of my heart.”

Her Royal Highness has also shared a video message with the Royal Voluntary Service ‘Virtual Village Hall’ to thank the thousands of volunteers supporting those in need, in hospital and in the community. As well as the hundreds of thousands of NHS Volunteer Responders who have signed up in recent weeks to support the NHS and ease pressure on the frontline during these difficult times.

Already 250,000 tasks have been performed, with 98% of requests being met within 24 hours. Joining the ranks of NHS Volunteer Responders across the country, The Duchess of Cornwall, The Duchess of Cambridge, The Countess of Wessex & The Duchess of Gloucester have all taken part in ‘check in and chat’ calls with those self-isolating, vulnerable or elderly.

The NHS Volunteer Responders scheme is being delivered by Royal Voluntary Service, who continue to provide their regular voluntary activity too. The charity’s hundreds of social clubs and groups are unable to meet during this time so the ‘Virtual Village Hall’ programme is designed to bring people together online, to enjoy activities at the same time.

The NHS and Royal Voluntary Service are encouraging anyone in need of support to seek help by calling 0808 196 3646.