Message by The Duchess of Cornwall for the Royal Voluntary Service’s Virtual Village Hall
Last month, I had the great pleasure of speaking to a lady on the telephone who had worked with a group of Land Girls during the Second World War. We spoke of the quiet acts of heroism – both on the frontline and at home – that brought about a great victory for us all.
We now live in a very different world. Yet as we pulled together to overcome COVID-19, we see the same spirit at work: other unsung heroism on the frontline and at home. And where there are unsung heroes, there are volunteers.
Since 2012, I’ve had the privilege of being President of the Royal Voluntary Service, an organization of which Her Majesty is Patron. The Service was founded by Lady Reading in 1938. She described volunteering as “the gift of a thoughtful person, of their skill, their energy and their time”.
82 years later, these words still apply. Whether you’ve been volunteering for decades, or are nearly on call, you are all the thoughtful people, giving your skill, your energy and your time to support and care for others.
The past weeks have seen a surge in volunteering, the like of which few will be able to recall. We now have a veritable army of 18,000 RVs volunteers and a staggering 600,000 NHS Volunteer Responders. This makes me incredibly proud of our country and of our national willingness to step forward to help in these very challenging times.
May I salute all the unsung heroes gathered in today’s Virtual Village Hall and thank each of you from the bottom of my heart. Thank you.