We have been awarded £600,000 in funding from players of the People’s Postcode Lottery to support our work in tackling social isolation and boosting the health and wellbeing of older people across the UK.

£450,000 will be earmarked for expanding our Retired and Senior Volunteering Programme (RSVP) across the UK. RSVP was set up in 1988 specifically to harness the energy and experience of older people, and prevent them from becoming excluded or isolated when their working life ended.

£150,000 will be used to replicate our successful Sporting Chance model in Sheffield. Sporting Chance is a health and wellbeing programme aimed at isolated older men, currently operating in Middlesbrough and Stockton-On-Tees.

Oonagh Aitken, Chief Executive of Volunteering Matters, said: “I am absolutely delighted that players of People’s Postcode Lottery have chosen to support our work with isolated older people. Throughout the UK, increasing numbers of older people are facing loneliness and poor health and wellbeing. This isn’t inevitable – if we pull together in our communities then we can improve the quality of life for older people.

I firmly believe that volunteering provides older people with a sense of purpose, renewed self-confidence and a zest for life that enables them to play an active and meaningful role in their local community. I’m very thankful to the players of People’s Postcode Lottery, and I’m looking forward to meeting the new volunteers and beneficiaries who will benefit from these projects.”

Clara Govier, Head of Charities at the People’s Postcode Lottery, added: “The projects that our players will be supporting will make such a difference to the lives of so many older people across the country.  We are delighted that our players have been able to award this vital funding to Volunteering Matters.”