Autumn update



Dear RVS Members and Friends

We hope this message finds you all well. It’s been a while since we sent out a proper update and wanted to let you know what RVS has planned in the short term.


You have responded in a range of different ways to the pandemic. Our aim is to continue supporting groups and organisations to find their new normal.

RVS have worked closely with Rushmoor Borough Council to ensure the safe delivery of help to our vulnerable residents. The Hampshire Helpline will continue until March 31st 2021. We will mirror this in Rushmoor. From 1st October there will be changes to the times of the helplines and this will be publicised widely. The ORCA Helpline will be managed by RVS. We have a member of staff in post, training up to take over from the current team of Rushmoor Borough Council staff. Nicola has been volunteering throughout the pandemic and so is familiar with how it all works at ground level. If there is a local spike or any sort of lockdown, we know that Rushmoor Borough Council Help Line Operatives (HeLOs) will step back in to help.

The ORCA Telephone Befriending Service and Shopping Buddy Scheme will continue. They will go some way to ensuring people stay plugged into their community and find pathways to independence. We continue to have strong links with Hampshire Adult Health and Care Services as part of this process. They have provided ‘steady and strong’ information to help people build their physical strength as well.

These things are happening because a team of about 60 Responders have agreed to continue volunteering, whilst they are still needed. Some are working and carrying out shopping or pharmacy requests on their way home or at the weekend. Some have childcare responsibilities and are offering a few hours a week on the befriending line. Some have been made redundant or are studying. Every little bit most certainly helps, building up a team of ORCA Responders that we are grateful to have. Even now, we continue to recruit new people who want to do their bit.

Voluntary Sector News

Generally, RVS would send out a monthly bulletin with all the latest news about your events, activities and opportunities. We stopped doing this in March, when most groups stopped operating in the normal way. Instead we have sent out information as it has come in. We intend to continue doing this whilst there are restrictions on group activities. So if you have any news, send it through and we will share with the mailing list. If you have links to social media, include these as well.

We missed sending out the last quarterly newsletter, that usually includes updates on charity governance, legislation and all things RVS. This will resume with the Autumn newsletter going out in October.

Voluntary Sector Forum

Whilst we have restrictions on indoor gatherings, the quarterly Voluntary Sector Forum will take on a different format. We will be going online, with an opportunity to share updates and to hear members’ plans for the future. We realise this will not suit everyone and will do our best to support people to be able to attend remotely. There will be a recording of the event you can watch afterwards as well. We will focus on the future for this forum, giving key organisations an opportunity to talk about their plans.

Date for the next VSF on Zoom is 28th October, 10 a.m. – 12 noon. RSVP to We will send you a zoom link to the meeting nearer the time.

RVS AGM is delayed this year due to the pandemic. It will take place before at the final Voluntary Sector Forum for 2020 on 16th December. More information will follow in November.

RVS Trustees

The borough mourned the loss of Frank Rust. Amongst the many roles Frank had, he was an RVS board member. We are keen to continue Frank’s legacy of championing local communities through a new trustee. If you think that could be you or one of your contacts, get it touch for a chat and a role profile. We are also recruiting a new Treasurer to take over from Dennis Cantwell who is standing down after 14 years sterling support to the organisation and the Rushmoor community. More details are here:  RVS Trustees and here.

How Can We Support You

Finally, throughout this time we have been privileged to continue serving our member organisations, offering advice and support on governance and funding. We have helped new groups to form, sadly some groups to disband and others to adapt their offer. We have worked with clubs and organisations to respond to the call to action, signposting them to where they are needed most. We are now focusing on getting groups back on their feet. This will come in the form of training, sharing information and being available when you call. Don’t hesitate to call – if we can’t help, we will know someone who can!

To help us shape this offer more specifically, we will be in contact again shortly to ask about what support and information would be most beneficial to you. It would be enormously helpful if you could make some time to respond to our short survey.

We are proud to be part of Rushmoor voluntary sector, building stronger communities together.