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The Edinburghs

A royal trolley service as the Duke of Edinburgh joins volunteers to serve up hospital lunch

The Duke of Edinburgh rolled up his sleeves and dished out lunch to patients at a London hospital as he met volunteers working towards the award his father set up.

Prince Edward, who is patron of the Duke of Edinburgh charity, joined young people volunteering at King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust to share their experiences.

The Duke helped prepare the lunch service before wheeling a trolley along to a special sensory ward for older people, some of whom have dementia.

The volunteers have plenty of experience working on the ward where they help patients by serving food and support those who need extra care by cutting up their meals or opening up packaging for them.

The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award / Jonny Sanders

They also showed the Duke some of the other work they do on the Marjory Warren ward including helping patients with technology so they can contact family and friend or access entertainment.

Sayeed Ahmed, 18, from Ilford is working towards his Silver Duke of Edinburgh Award. He said after the royal visit that ”It has been brilliant meeting The Duke of Edinburgh today and showing him the difference DofE volunteers like me are making to patients at King’s College Hospital. I volunteer as a ward befriender at the weekend as part of the Volunteering section of the Award. I really enjoy the appreciation I receive from patients, even though my contributions to patient care are tiny compared to the doctors and nurses who do a wonderful job. I also enjoy being able to lend an ear to patients and learn more about them through their experiences and their stories. 

Ruth Marvel, CEO of the Duke of Edinburgh Award said ”these young people are making a huge difference to their communities and the experience of patients in hospital. It’s been great to hear that they are having lots of fun and developing skills for their future along the way.” 

About author

Lydia Starbuck is Jubilee and Associate Editor at Royal Central and the main producer and presenter of the Royal Central Podcast and Royal Central Extra. Lydia is also a pen name of June Woolerton who is a journalist and writer with over twenty years experience in TV, radio, print and online. Her latest book, A History of British Royal Jubilees, is out now. Her new book, The Mysterious Death of Katherine Parr, will be published in March 2024. June is an award winning reporter, producer and editor. She's appeared on outlets including BBC 5 Live, BBC Radio Ulster and BBC Local Radio and has also helped set up a commercial radio station. June is also an accomplished writer with a wide range of material published online and in print. She is the author of two novels, published as e-books. She is also a marriage registrar and ceremony celebrant.