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Volunteering: here’s what to expect

The difference between volunteering on your own and volunteering through Royal Voluntary Service is that we help you match your talents and skills with the roles that suit you best.

That’s because we want the experience to be as meaningful and enjoyable to you as it is to the people you help. 

Whether you’re keeping a hospital patient company, helping to run a community activity, giving someone a lift to the shops or just being there for someone who needs a friendly face, you’ll be using your own unique abilities to make a positive difference.

What other volunteers do

It might help you decide what’s right for you to see what other people do. There are thousands of Royal Voluntary Service volunteers across Britain, and they help their communities and support the NHS in all kinds of ways.

Some help people with shopping, getting to appointments, collecting prescriptions or just having a chat. They might lead exercise classes or support someone's recovery plan after a hospital stay. Others volunteer in hospitals, delivering trolley services or working in one of our many shops and cafés.

Or they might be using their professional skills to help with things like fundraising; digital and social media; marketing and communications; admin support; and recruitment for specific community projects, clubs or groups.

There are hundreds of ways to get involved. And our job is to make it easy for you, to give you all the support you need, and above all to make sure you enjoy the experience.

Ready to get started?

Let’s take a look at the volunteering opportunities in your area and we’ll show you all the ways you can Play Your Part and offer support in your local community or NHS.

The not-so-small-print

Once you know how you’d like to volunteer, we’ll get you started with the practical, technical and legal information and support you need. It’s not complicated – here’s what’s involved:

Induction & training

As well as an induction into volunteering with Royal Voluntary Service, you’ll get any and all training you need before starting your voluntary role. 

Ongoing support

We’re always there for you, whether that’s through a volunteering buddy, a manager or coordinator or just someone to offer advice by email or over the phone. 

Help with expenses

We’ll pay back any reasonable expenses you pay out while you’re volunteering.


If we’ve approved or authorised your volunteering role, you don’t need any additional insurance.

Your safety

We’re committed to protecting the health, safety and wellbeing of all our volunteers, and you’ll learn more about that as part of your training. We’ll also do risk assessments related to your role and the environment you’ll be volunteering in.

Security checks

Where necessary, our volunteers go through a DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) which was previously known as a CRB check. In Scotland that means a PVG (Protecting Vulnerable Groups) check from Disclosure Scotland. 


Our volunteering opportunities are open to everyone, of all ages, gender identities, cultures, ethnicities, skills, backgrounds and levels of ability. 

Rewards & recognition

We have a rewards and recognition scheme that celebrates your achievements as a volunteer.


All the information you give us is confidential and likewise you’ll need to protect the confidentiality of any information you handle for the people or organisations you support.

Life long benefits

We never forget our volunteers and the service they’ve given. So if you’ve given us your time, we’ll always be there for you. You can depend on the support of our services any time you need them, and we have a couple of more formal ways to take care of you too:

The Friends of Royal Voluntary Service keeps us in touch with former volunteers, which means we know just when to offer additional support.

The WRVS Benevolent Trust offers one-off grants to volunteers past and present who find themselves in need of financial assistance.

Want to know more?

Royal Voluntary Service has been inspiring volunteers for more than 80 years.