Today, (Wednesday 28th October)  over 100 volunteers from RSVP Coventry will come together to mark more than a decade’s worth of work in the city. At a “red carpet” party they’ll donning bow ties and boas and celebrating all their great work in style.  RSVP (Retired and Senior Volunteer Programme) is part of the  national charity Volunteering Matters – and has been running in Coventry since 2000. In that time they have been delivering projects tackling isolation and improving wellbeing amongst older people in Coventry through volunteer-led activity.

RSVP has been especially successful in engaging older people of Asian origin from across the city, and will be launching a report at the party that investigates how they did this. To date well over 200 people from Asian backgrounds have been involved – starting, leading and taking part in activities ranging from knitting groups to exercise clubs.

According to one volunteer:

“You feel active. You get dressed and go somewhere. Otherwise you sit at home and do nothing. So now we have an excuse to go out and do things for other people who need help. It makes you happy. You talk to everyone. I learn from them, they learn from me. It changed my life.”

Lesley Hawkins, RSVP Coventry Project Manager added:

“We are so delighted to host this event for volunteers and beneficiaries alike – and are especially excited to highlight our work with older people of Asian origin. RSVP and our volunteers have  provided valuable opportunities for older people of Asian origin to develop new ways of connecting to others, developing the skills, confidence and motivation, which all have helped contribute  towards making  Coventry a better place in which to grow old”

The Red Carpet Event takes place on Wednesday 28th October, from 11am, upstairs in the main church Coventry Methodist Central Hall.

For more information, or to attend, please contact: Lesley Hawkins,  02476 252 418.

As well as the celebrations, the report “Engaging older people of Asian origin: Findings from Volunteering Matters’ Retired and Senior Volunteer Programme” was released today. Accompanying photos and videos are also available.


For press enquiries please contact Amanda Francis at Volunteering Matters, / 020 3780 5880 / 07754698854

Notes to Editors

Volunteering Matters, formerly known as CSV, is a national charity leading UK volunteering in policy and practice. We believe that everyone can play a role in their community and should have the chance to participate; we build volunteering projects and programmes to reflect this. We focus on the needs of four distinct communities; older and retired people, disabled people, vulnerable families and young people. We engage over 35,000 volunteers every year, and currently have 150 active programmes across the UK. For more information please visit: