Member of Parliament for Pontypridd Owen Smith has paid tribute to volunteers serving Wales’ busiest hospitals.

On a visit to the Royal Glamorgan Hospital, Mr. Smith met with volunteers from the Royal Voluntary Service whose 52 volunteers and staff operate the three outlets which include cafés, shops and on-ward trolley services at the Llantrisant hospital.

The Royal Voluntary Service boasts over 440 cafés, shops and trolley services in hospitals throughout Britain. In many cases, profits raised through sales in their shops and cafés is gifted back to hospitals to improve services and equipment for older people in that hospital and community.

Speaking from the Royal Glamorgan Hospital, Owen Smith MP, said:

“Since its inception in 1938, the Royal Voluntary Service has a long and proud history of working in our NHS; which was established a decade later in 1948.

“For many people, visiting hospital can be a worrying and lonely experience and Royal Voluntary Service shops, cafés and trolley services are a much-loved feature of our hospitals that offer a welcome place to take a break.

“These services would simply not be able to run without dedicated volunteers who give up their time and for that, I am incredibly grateful.”

Royal Glamorgan volunteer Janet Holbrook added:

“Volunteering with the Royal Voluntary Service is an incredible experience and one that helps to make visiting or staying in hospital that little bit easier.

“Every day is busy and as well as serving customers we provide a welcoming face to the hospital, directions to lost visitors and a sympathetic ear to patients and visitors who want to chat.

“Owen Smith has always been a keen supporter of the Royal Voluntary Service and we’re grateful that he has taken the time to visit and see first-hand the work we undertake.”


Notes to Editors

The Royal Voluntary Service is one of the largest volunteer organisations in the country. Their 25,000 volunteers help older people stay active, independent and able to contribute to society.

To find out more about volunteering, visit or call 0845 608 0122.

Originally set up as the Women’s Voluntary Service (subsequently the WRVS) in 1938, the charity started out helping civilians during the Second World War.

To mark their 75th anniversary in 2013, they changed their name to ‘Royal Voluntary Service’ to reflect the role played by all their volunteers, men as well as women.

The charity delivers volunteer and community led services which help older people to look after themselves better and build social connections. Services that support older people after a stay in Hospital, at home and that improve quality of life through social activities.

The Royal Voluntary Service believes in people being able to solve the problems that are important to older people in their communities and supports volunteers to run services such as lunch and dining clubs, craft groups, gardening groups and many more.

The charity is one of the largest retailers in the NHS with 400 shops and cafes run by volunteers across the UK who provide tea and company to Hospital patients and visitors while raising funds to support the charity’s community work.

The Royal Voluntary Service work together with other charities, social care providers and the NHS to help create a society where everyone feels valued and involved

Royal Voluntary Service has Investing in Volunteers status in recognition of its good practice and effective volunteer management.

For more information please contact: Christopher Binding on 01443 401122 or email [email protected]