We’re celebrating the invaluable work of the Women’s Royal Voluntary Service in Retro after the news they will no longer be running cafes at two city hospitals.
As reported in The Star on Thursday, the organisation, now called the Royal Voluntary Service, will no longer run cafes at the Hallamshire and Northern General Hospitals after more than 30 years.
The volunteers lost out to a London firm when the contract was put out to tender.
The RVS said they were ‘disappointed’ they had lost out after more than 30 years – and raising more than £1 million for city hospitals.
The service’s website, www.royalvoluntaryservice.org.uk, records that it was founded in 1938 as the Women’s Voluntary Services for Air Raid Precautions. It says that the Royal Voluntary Service is the largest volunteering organisation in British history.
It was formed to help recruit women into the ARP movement assisting civilians during and after air raids by providing emergency rest centres, feeding, first aid, and assisting with the evacuation and billeting of children.
The website says: “By 1943 the organisation had over one million volunteers and was involved in almost every aspect of wartime life from the collection of salvage to the knitting of socks and gloves for merchant seamen.
“After the war Royal Voluntary Service transformed to become a leading organisation in the field of social care, pioneering the practices that formed the cornerstone of modern social services.”
The word royal was added to the name in 1966 by the organisation’s patron, the Queen.