RVS income down by a third due to the pandemic

Income at the Royal Voluntary Service fell by one-third last year because of a large drop in retail income due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

The volunteering charity’s latest accounts, for the year to the end of March, show that total income fell from £53.8m in the year to March 2020 to £36.1m last year. 

The charity reduced its expenditure in line with income, from £58.9m in 2019/20 to £37.2m. 

The RVS said income from hospital shops, cafes and trolleys was down by £27.6m year on year to £10.3m because of Covid-19-enforced closures. 

But community services generated income of £15.6m, an increase of £11.2m on the previous year due to new Covid-19 support contracts with NHS England. 

The charity also received £2.6m from the government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

The RVS said it was forced to make redundancies in the fourth quarter of the financial year because of the pandemic. 

The average number of employees fell by 145 to 910 over the course of the year, the accounts show. 

It said it had been commissioned by NHS England to establish NHS Volunteer Responders, a micro-volunteering programme designed to support the NHS and protect the vulnerable during the pandemic, which has involved 400,000 volunteers. 

The charity also supported the recruitment of 70,000 volunteers to support the rollout of the UK’s vaccine programme. 

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