The Gift of Life


Last week, I took myself down to the Oxo Tower Wharf to view the “Gift of Time” exhibition which commemorates eighty years since the founding of the Royal Voluntary Service.

We have been honoured to implement the first ever Web2Print platform for the Royal Voluntary Service. It is one of the best we have executed and, arguably, one of the leading platforms developed for the third sector. All of us at Syncoms are proud of the customisation work we have done to beautify and simplify the platform for the Royal Voluntary Service’s specific needs and what’s more, after attending this exhibition, we are most appreciative of the opportunity to serve such an inspiring organisation.

The exhibition is called “The Gift of Time” and it is a celebration of the eightieth anniversary since the creation of the Royal Voluntary Service, which was founded in 1938 by Stella Isaacs, Marchioness of Reading – around the same time as the menfolk prepared to leave Britain to go and fight World War II. Over a million women took part in volunteer activities that ranged from hospital visits, to performing air raid drills. Anything to help with the war-effort.

After the end of the war, it was obvious that disbanding such a useful organisation would be a waste of this newly-assembled pool of talent and the Women’s Voluntary Service, as it was then known, has evolved with each subsequent change in the times, to become the Royal Voluntary Service it is today.

These days, the Royal Voluntary Service ensures warmth and care are provided to thousands of house-bound and elderly people, every day. They still visit hospitals and provide emergency feeding to disaster-stricken areas – did you know they were there for us, when the Lewisham Train Crash happened?

Or the Lockerbie crash?

Or the Hillsborough disaster? I didn’t.

When Britain suffered some of the worst flooding the country had ever known, in 2007, the Royal Voluntary Service helped pick us up and dry us all off.

This was a powerful exhibition of memories that deserve to be aired, and frequently. It was especially moving for me to see our own print work used for such a touching celebration of selflessness in the face of disaster.

This was not just some commercial enterprise that was taking place, right in front of my eyes. This was our contribution to a genuinely helpful and beneficial cause and I was proud and moved to see our involvement, however humble, alongside the war-beating efforts of the people portrayed within.

The Gift of Time was a fantastic, educational visit through the Royal Voluntary Society’s past and how it has informed their present, ongoing activities.

Men and women who have offered the gift of their time so that the Society may continue its mission to “help people to maintain independence and dignity in their homes and communities, particularly in later life” are all poignantly on display here, ensuring that the gift of time might be further bestowed on the vulnerable and needy who desperately require it, now and in the future.

For more information about this exhibition, visit  and .

For more information about volunteering with the Royal Voluntary Society, visit

And, of course, for more information about Web2Print or if you need help with provisioning printed collateral for your next exhibition, get in touch with me!