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Staying social

Staying socially connected and maintaining an active lifestyle are key elements of staying healthy. But not everyone finds it so easy to get out and about and stay social, especially those who live alone or are less mobile. That’s where our social activities services come in.

We run a wide range of clubs, groups and events in local communities, many of them staffed by our volunteers. They’re great places to meet old friends, make new ones, refresh existing skills or try something new.

Our social activities are available online and in person depending on where you live.

Virtual Village Hall

Art, baking, exercise classes, crafts and cocktail making — there’s all sorts of fun to be had in our Virtual Village Hall! With sessions presented by expert tutors, volunteers, celebrity guests and more, there’s something to suit everyone.

No need for a lot of space or any specialist equipment, most of the activities are easy to join with tools and materials most people have at home. Some don’t need any equipment at all, just a desire to join in!

Virtual visitors can take part in live sessions, or access them on demand at a time that works for them. All they need is an internet connection and they’re ready for an online world of activity.

What’s available near me?

Want to find social activities to take part in near you? Enter your postcode to find out.

Lunch clubs

Royal Voluntary Service lunch clubs are a real lifeline for people across the country, offering a warm, social space where they can enjoy a good home cooked meal and some company.

There’s usually also a range of activities to join in or try, including one-pot cooking classes that help even the most inexperienced chef to create a tasty, healthy meal!

Social clubs and events

There’s no simple way to list all the social clubs and events we’re able to offer. They cover a huge variety of hobbies, interests and pastimes, as well as visits to specialist venues like indoor bowling greens or aquafit classes at the local pool.

Our clubs and events help people to keep doing the things they enjoy in a social setting where they can keep up with friends or make new ones.

Healthy, Happy Lives

Everyone ages differently. For some, staying healthy, active and social as they grow older will be relatively simple. Others, particularly those with complex mental or physical health issues, will need more support.

Our Health, Happy Lives programme offers something for everyone, whether that’s simply a social setting for lunch, or specialist therapy and exercise for people with cognitive or physical challenges.

It creates safe, supportive spaces where clients and their carers can join in a variety of activities in their local community and at their own level.

Community cafés

There’s nothing like a coffee, a chat and a bite to eat to keep friends and neighbours connected. That’s just what our community cafés provide.

Usually held in a local community centre or hall, they offer good, healthy food at affordable prices, along with weekly activity programmes that cover everything from arts and heritage to healthy living and hobby clubs.

They also host social clubs and events, with activities for those who like to take it easy as well as those who feel more energetic.

First Time for Everything

First Time for Everything has been designed by Royal Voluntary Service with the support of the players of the People’s Postcode Lottery, to introduce people to a whole new range of interests. It is currently available at selected locations in England, Scotland and Wales,

It provides people with opportunities to try something new for free in their local community, and is aimed particularly at those aged 55 and over or that have underlying health conditions. The activities on offer support physical and mental health and wellbeing and digital literacy because staying active and social have been proven to be important to keeping fit and well as we age.

Please contact the relevant First Time for Everything activity coordinator for more information. We currently offer this service in the following areas:

Hastings: 07918 377510

Leicester: 07814 934160

Lincolnshire: 07468 701994

Manchester: 07795 450563

Moray: 07814 857253

North Wales: 07825 503046

Stirling/Forth Valley: 07824 547865

Food for Life Get Togethers

Food for Life Get Togethers are regular community activities that connect people from all ages and backgrounds through growing, cooking and eating good food. 

Funded by the National Lottery Community Fund and delivered with the support of six national partners including Royal Voluntary Service, Food for Life Get Togethers are part of a bigger movement, led by the Soil Association, to make good food the easy choice for everyone.  

Get Together events

Activities take place all year but are centred on two annual celebration months to take part in.

Events will be taking place at Royal Voluntary Service social groups and other local community groups across the nations, to find out more visit the Food For Life Get Togethers website or email

Working together with Food for Life Get Togethers, Royal Voluntary Service is able to provide funding for groups to run a good food event in their local area, contact for more information.

Cook & Share Month

Cook & Share Month takes place from mid-October to mid-November. The 2022 campaign kicked off on World Food Day - 16 October - a day dedicated to making good food accessible for all. Community groups, dementia groups, church groups and sheltered housing all took part. They shared baked potatoes, soup and burritos, bringing people together for the first time, and others who hadn't been together for a long time.

Plant & Share Month

Plant and Share Month typically runs from the end of April and is a celebration of sowing, growing and sharing home grown food with friends and the larger community. This year the event take place from 22 April until 20 May 2023.

During 2022, over 500 organisations sowed the seeds for good food in their community. Over 20 Royal Voluntary Groups received seeds, soil and pots from Food for Life Get Togethers and planted everything from salad leaves, to chillis, to tomatoes and pumpkins. Seedlings were passed on to other community groups, care homes, schools and community allotments.

Be a Royal Voluntary Service partner

We work with local and national partners including Local Authorities, NHS Trusts and Health Boards, companies and charities. Together we deliver volunteer-involving services which support individuals, communities and our NHS. Here’s how to find out more about partnering with Royal Voluntary Service.