Royal Voluntary Service provides practical help and support to older people so that they can live safely and independently at home and stay connected to their communities. One million older people living in Britain today say that they are always or often lonely. Many also struggle without help with simple things like transport, shopping or picking up prescriptions.
Royal Voluntary Service helps to tackle this by recruiting, training and supporting volunteers to help older people in their neighbourhoods. There are 35,000 Royal Voluntary Service volunteers across Great Britain, helping around 100,000 older people.
Players have raised an amazing £325,000 for Royal Voluntary Service's work so far, and in 2015 this has meant that the charity has been able to help more than 1,300 additional older people. Throughout the country, hundreds of Good Neighbours volunteers have been visiting older people, having a friendly chat with those that might be feeling lonely or isolated, checking that people are safe and well and making sure that they can get out and aboutto shops, medical appointments and social clubs and activities.
Jack is one of the many older people who have a Good Neighbours volunteer thanks to funding from players. A former airline pilot and keen tennis player, Jack struggles to get out and about nowadays without help because of health issues affecting his mobility. Volunteer Pennie visits Jack once a week and says, "If it's nice weather we'll go out. If it's not so great outside we'll stay at home, chatting, reading the papers, playing draughts - Jack always beats me. Basically I'm just trying to add a bit of colour to his life."
Together, they visit local sights and go to the shops so Jack can pick up anything he needs. Pennie's visits mean a lot to Jack, who says, "We get on well together and Pennie is a big help. It makes a nice break in the week and means I get out a bit. Life without Pennie's visits would be pretty dull!"