Press releases

Legal & General lends a helping hand to the Royal Voluntary Service in Surrey.

14 May 2014

The Royal Voluntary Service hospital shop at Epsom General hospital, in Surrey has had a much needed facelift thanks to financial help from local financial services provider Legal & General and support from their employees. The financial support enabled a professional builder to be employed to carrying out the necessary building renovations required, with 
Legal & General volunteers then completing the final decoration, last week, Friday 2nd May 2014.

The shop was last renovated more than ten years ago and is very popular as it gives customers much more than a place to buy refreshments and gifts as the volunteers provide a friendly face and sympathetic ear for patients and those visiting loved ones at the hospital.

In addition, Legal & General has since the beginning of the year also supported the work of the charity by providing two volunteers every Friday to help run the Royal Voluntary Service coffee bar, shop and trolley service, also at the hospital. Over 30 employees from the company’s Kingswood office have been involved already and by the end of the year employees will have dedicated over 120 days to help support the Royal Voluntary Service at the hospital.

John Maguire, Royal Voluntary Service Locality Manager for Surrey, said: “This is a vital service for patients, people visiting loved ones and those who work at the hospital and we’re hugely grateful to the volunteers at Legal & General for giving up their time to help renovate the shop and provide their help every Friday.

We’re looking forward to continuing to work with Legal & General to support more people in the local community.”

Mike Trowbridge, Director for Legal & General’s Retirement business commenting on the support for the Royal Voluntary Service at Epsom Hospital in Surrey said: “The Royal Voluntary Service is one of the largest volunteer organisations in the country and the amazing work that their volunteers do helps to enrich the lives of many people and their families on a daily basis.”

Mike continued: “Much of the support they offer helps older people in the community to stay active and independent. As 
Legal & General is one of the UK’s leading annuity providers, with over 1 million customers who are in retirement we are aware of how valued the services the Royal Voluntary Service offer are to the wellbeing of many of our customers and the local community.

“However, sometimes even these dedicated volunteers need some help. So we are delighted to support our employees request to volunteer their time to help the Royal Voluntary Service.”

Ken Cansdale, one of the Legal & General employees helping with the Royal Voluntary Service support at Epsom General Hospital said: “Working with the Royal Voluntary Service and being involved in this project has been fantastic. We pride ourselves on the support we give to our customers and do appreciate the challenges that some of our customers face. However, working in the Royal Voluntary Service hospital shop has given me a wider understanding and appreciation of just how difficult those challenges can be. The simplest of things, such as just having a chat with a patient and their family can make a world of difference. I’m so pleased that I’ve volunteered to help with this project and to see the immediate benefits that my time can bring, as well as having fun!”

As part of the partnership with the Royal Voluntary Service, Legal & General arranged two training days at their offices in Kingswood so 25 Royal Voluntary Service volunteers were able to complete e-learning programmes on Equality and Diversity; Health & Safety; and Safeguarding. Legal & General staff will also be a having a dress down day and a summer BBQ to help raise funds for the charity.

Royal Voluntary Service supports over 100,000 older people each month to stay independent in their own homes for longer with tailor made solutions. Through its army of 40,000 volunteers, the charity runs services such as Good Neighbours (companionship), Meals-on-Wheels and Books-on-Wheels that alleviate loneliness and help older people. Royal Voluntary Service also provides practical support for older people who have been in hospital through its On Ward Befriending and Home from Hospital services.

For more information or before and after photos of the RVS shop contact: Ruth Taylor at RVS on 07714 898574 or or Berni Ryan, PR Manger at Legal & General on 07788 926790

Notes to editors

  • Formerly known as WRVS, Royal Voluntary Service has been helping people in Britain for 75 years.
  • Originally set up as the Women’s Voluntary Service in 1938, the charity played a crucial role during the Second World War.
  • Whilst keeping the same values of community service, Royal Voluntary Service has now focused its work on helping older people to remain independent and get more out of life.
  • Royal Voluntary Service is one of the largest voluntary organisations in Britain with 40,000 men and women helping people in their homes, the community, hospitals and in emergencies.
  • The charity is a founding member of the Campaign to End Loneliness, a partner in the Big Lottery funded project, Shaping our Age, a supporter of the Malnutrition Task Force and a member of the Care and Support Alliance, the Falls and Fractures Alliance, Age Action Alliance and the Dementia Action Alliance.
  • Royal Voluntary Service has Investing in Volunteers status in recognition of its good practice and effective volunteer management.
  • For more information on the Royal Voluntary Service please visit
  • Royal Voluntary Service has Investing in Volunteers status in recognition of its good practice and effective volunteer management.
  • For more information on Royal Voluntary Service please visit

Patron: Her Majesty the Queen

President: HRH The Duchess of Cornwall

Email:  •