Volunteer has Royal approval

Rae meeting the Duchess of Cornwall for the second time
Rae meeting the Duchess of Cornwall for the second time

A dedicated volunteer was recently welcomed to a special reception held at Clarence House by Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cornwall.

Rae Wilson, a Royal Voluntary Service volunteer from Balfron, attended the event hosted by the Duchess, who is president of the charity, to mark the launch of the charity’s ‘Our Amazing People’ campaign - celebrating the talents and skills of older people.

She was joined by a number of well-known faces including Royal Voluntary Service ambassadors Dame Patricia Routledge, Felicity Kendal and Wayne Sleep and other guests.

Rae (77), a former primary school teacher, has been volunteering with Royal Voluntary Service for 15 years and is project manager for the Balfron Lunch Club in her village.

She also takes part in GrandFest, the one day festival run by Royal Voluntary Service to celebrate the craft skills of older people, where she has taught the art of preserve making for the past three years.

Rae said: “The reception was absolutely super. Everyone was treated the same and the Duchess was so charming and relaxed. She put everyone at ease.

“It’s actually the second time I’ve met The Duchess having been introduced at the GrandFest launch last year where I presented her with some of my homemade preserve.

“I set up the Balfron Lunch Club 10 years ago having identified a need for somewhere for older people to go in the village. We now cater for 30-35 people each Thursday.

“I volunteered after I semi-retired as a way of helping others and to put something back into the community, as well as to fill my spare time.

“However, since my husband died two years ago, focusing my energies on new projects for the charity, has given me a new sense of purpose and kept me busy.”

“As a young girl I was in awe of the wonderful, uniformed WVS members and all that they did, so volunteering with Royal Voluntary Service has been like fulfilling a childhood dream.”

For more information about the charity, including how to volunteer, visit www.royalvoluntaryservice.org.uk.