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‘Very ancient trolley dolly’ Camilla tours hospital wards

The Duchess of Cornwall is president of the Royal Voluntary Service.

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The Duchess of Cornwall, President of Royal Voluntary Service (RVS) and Elaine Paige OBE (right) pushing the trolley with John Thompson (left), at the launch of RVS’s Big Trolley Push (Paul Edwards/The Sun/PA)

The Duchess of Cornwall, President of Royal Voluntary Service (RVS) and Elaine Paige OBE (right) pushing the trolley with John Thompson (left), at the launch of RVS’s Big Trolley Push (Paul Edwards/The Sun/PA)

The Duchess of Cornwall, President of Royal Voluntary Service (RVS) and Elaine Paige OBE (right) pushing the trolley with John Thompson (left), at the launch of RVS’s Big Trolley Push (Paul Edwards/The Sun/PA)

The Duchess of Cornwall joked she was a “very ancient trolley dolly” after joining West End star Elaine Paige at an event encouraging more people to support the Royal Voluntary Service.

Camilla, who is the RVS’ president, made the quip after she met volunteers working in the charity’s shop at the University Hospitals of Leicester.

The duchess learnt about the RVS’ Big Trolley Push recruitment campaign which aims to get more volunteers supporting the NHS, in particular by taking the trolley shop out on to hospital wards.

Volunteers take the trolleys loaded with reading materials, healthy refreshments, treats, toiletries and other essentials around hospital wards and chat to patients, helping to ease the anxiety and sometimes loneliness experienced during a hospital stay.

Camilla told the volunteers “I see a lot of you around the country, and I know what an incredible job you do”, she made her audience laugh by saying she was a “very ancient trolley dolly”.

The RVS is one of Britain’s largest volunteering charities with nearly 20,000 volunteers supporting thousands of people each month in hospitals and in the community.

It has run a shop and trolley service at the Leicester General hospital since the mid-1970s, with more than 75 volunteers supporting the two services, with eight volunteers taking out the trolley five days a week to 13 wards.

PA