Spotlight on: Falkirk’s Royal Voluntary Service

An example of true resilience, the Royal Voluntary Service has adapted to the immense challenges of the pandemic. It’s flexible approach to the unfolding coronavirus situation ensured people in Falkirk’s communities were supported through uncertain times.

The UK-wide charity works at scale within the health and social care sector to free up staff to dedicate more time to patient care, and within communities to provide practical help and support to people when they need it. Local support is co-ordinated by Falkirk Health and Social Care Partnership as part of the community planning partnership.

In March 2020, the service changed all of its delivery models within a matter of weeks. Switching from face-to-face delivery to remote, online, and socially-distanced support. The quick adaptation to changing needs and means of delivering support ensured that every Royal Voluntary Service user who needed help was able to access it.

While other services were unfortunately forced to reduce capacity during the pandemic, the Royal Voluntary Service has continued to support more and more people since adapting to coronavirus pressures.

In numbers, Falkirk’s Royal Voluntary Service pandemic activity (March 2020 – March 2021)
–          1226 Garden Gate Chats.
–          10,051 Safe and well checks.
–          5,575 Essential shopping or medication collections and deliveries.
–          180,000 Volunteer hours.

“Our volunteer and staff teams operating in local communities really have changed peoples lives. We have learnt a great deal during the pandemic and have reached a wider group of people through our virtual support groups and new online resources. These changes will continue to complement our traditional service delivery into the future.”  –  Steve Amos, RVS Head of Commissioned Services

Volunteers and staff continued to operate services throughout the pandemic, supporting people with companionship telephone calls, bringing together people in Virtual Village Halls, and by delivering essential food and medication. As restrictions eased and guidelines allowed, the service introduced garden gate visits to provide wellbeing support and have resumed home library services.

Now in a COVID recovery footing, the Royal Voluntary Service is looking to the future delivery of its support. The team plans to continue adapting its offering as Scotland eases out of lockdown and will integrate service improvements as we move out of the pandemic.

If you have a service in mind that you would like to shine a spotlight on for our next blog, let us know by contacting our communications officer, Paul Surgenor.