Rachel Riley delights diners and volunteers by serving up meals at a Royal Voluntary Service lunch club in Mill End for an inspirational new film calling for new volunteers.
The film shows the TV presenter as she visits a Royal Voluntary Service lunch club in Rickmansworth where she met volunteers and diners and helped make and serve up lunch.
The film is part of a new campaign from Royal Voluntary Service and Yakult to highlight the difference volunteers make and the importance of the charity’s lunch and social clubs.
It comes as new research shows almost a million (955,464) older people in the UK rely on ready meals and convenience foods to keep them fed and nearly a quarter (23 per cent) skip one of their daily meals at least three times a week.
Rachel said: “Older people are often by themselves and it can be difficult to motivate yourself to make a nice hot meal. Loneliness is one of the worst things in terms of mental health and general wellbeing, so getting people together and having somewhere you can look forward to going to each week is fantastic.
“The volunteers themselves get a lot out of it too because they get to know the people who come in every week.”
Kay Francis, 95, who has attended a lunch club for over two years said: “I wouldn’t leave the house if it wasn’t for the lunch club. I’m blind, so getting out and about is really difficult but the Royal Voluntary Service volunteers provide a five-star service.
“They take me to and from the club where I can enjoy delicious food and wonderful company. I would be so lonely without it.”
Royal Voluntary Service is one of Britain’s largest volunteering charities with over 20,000 volunteers supporting thousands of people each month in hospitals and in the community.
To watch the video, visit volunteering.royalvoluntaryservice.org.uk