SLIDESHOW - RETRO: Salute these great ladies

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Helping others? There’s nothing quite like it.

David Cameron may have thought he was reinventing the wheel when he came up with (and quickly dropped) the phrase Big Society ahead of the last election.

Women's Royal Voluntary Service

Women's Royal Voluntary Service

But this lot have been on it for years: volunteering, helping those in need, doing their bit.

They are the Women’s Royal Voluntary Service, and today Tuesday Retro pays tribute to them by continuing our of A-Z of hobbies enjoyed in the region with V is for volunteering. This band of everyday heroes give up their own time to help the elderly and vulnerable; providing the kind of support the state can’t. And in Sheffield there are dozens of members doing their bit for those who still live independently but find themselves needing the odd helping hand.

Volunteers do a spot of shopping, provide company, pick up library books, run on journeys, deliver meals and accompany on social activities. They run cafes at hospices and raise money to take people on trips.

“We are now a major service provider giving practical help, particularly for older people, to enable choice, independence and dignity so people can enjoy an improved quality of life,” the website says.

The group was formed in 1938 as the Women’s Voluntary Services for Air Raid Precautions, and was the largest voluntary organisation in British history. After World War Two had finished it continued and today has turned its focus to the elderly. It’s now a registered charity with 40,000 volunteers and a small paid staff.

Unfortunately, their helpfulness apparently doesn’t extend to journalists. After phoning the national HQ hoping to be put in touch with a local volunteer The Star is left on hold for five minutes before being told only press officers speak to the press - and none of them are available.

Still, if you’re a member of the WRVS, The Star salutes you. Feel free to get in touch - we’d love to hear from you.