Nearly a year after the United Kingdom went into its first national lockdown, Her Majesty joined the Duchess of Cornwall on a video call to honour Royal Voluntary Service (RVS) volunteers.
The monarch, who is the patron of the RVS, and the Duchess, the Charity’s President, heard how more than a million new volunteers have joined the charity since last March. The organisation’s total number of volunteers has now grown to 12.7 million.
“Thank you very much indeed, very interesting to hear what you (have) been doing, I think it’s wonderful work, and I do thank everybody for, and all the others too, who have been volunteering it’s been a great, great help over this very difficult year,” said Her Majesty.
The Duchess also thanked volunteers for their efforts: “Thank you all very much for all you’ve done throughout the year, throughout the pandemic. We couldn’t have done it without you.”
A year from its launch, the NHS Volunteer Responders has carried out more than 1.6 million tasks, including delivering food, picking up prescriptions, and assisting with vaccination rollout.
The royal women heard from retired police officer Tracey Clarke in Gateshead. Clarke has been working with the RVS’ Gateshead Home Library Service, providing books to isolated people.
In response, Her Majesty mentioned the importance of books: “Rather different work from the police I should think…and books are very important to people.”
The Duchess of Cornwall recently launched her own book club on Instagram called The Reading Room. On her page, the Duchess shares book recommendations and speaks with different authors. As of March 2021, the page has over 97,000 followers.