Terry Walton hosts Q&A at the Virtual Village Hall

Terry Walton hosts Q&A at the Virtual Village Hall

TV and radio gardening guru Terry Walton to host live-stream question and answer session

Terry has been a keen gardener and allotment grower since childhood and broadcasts regularly from his allotment in the Rhondda Valley, South Wales. Like many people, Terry has been finding comfort in gardening and growing during lockdown and looks forward to sharing his expertise and experience with other gardeners at the Royal Voluntary Service Virtual Village Hall on Friday 22nd May at 3pm.

He says: “Gardening provides my exercise in the beautiful open air. It gives me solitude if I need it or companionship on the allotments with like-minded people. It relieves my stresses and most of all provides me with fresh, tasty, wholesome food. In these worrying times, gardening provides my escape from reality for those precious hours.”

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The Virtual Village Hall (royalvoluntaryservice.org.uk/VVH) is an online activity programme to take part in at home, designed by Royal Voluntary Service, the national volunteering charity, and supported by players of People’s Postcode Lottery. Activities include dance, exercise and meditation, photography and painting, baking, beatboxing and more. Sessions are led by expert tutors, Royal Voluntary Service activity co-ordinators and volunteers, and some well-known faces from TV shows like Masterchef and The Great British Sewing Bee.

Questions for Terry can be submitted live on the day on the Virtual Village Hall Facebook group (www.facebook.com/groups/VirtualVillageHall/) and he will answer as many as possible.

The Virtual Village Hall can be found via the Royal Voluntary Service website royalvoluntaryservice.org.uk/VVH. It is open seven days a week with both live and pre-recorded activities to take part in. All sessions can be viewed on demand on the Virtual Village Hall YouTube channel. Some downloadable guides are available to print and share and there are links to official government guidelines and Covid 19 information.

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Catherine Johnstone CBE, Chief Executive at Royal Voluntary Service, said: “Our volunteers run hundreds of clubs and groups in local communities which, with the support of players of People’s Postcode Lottery, support people to be social and active. Sadly, at this time, these activities can’t go ahead. Lockdown conditions are particularly tough for older people and those living alone and we want to offer something practical to relieve the sense of isolation and boredom that many will be experiencing. Visitors to the Virtual Village Hall will find lots of activities that they might already enjoy doing as well as new things to try.”

Hazel Johnstone, Senior Programmes Manager at People’s Postcode Lottery, said: “We’re delighted that players of People’s Postcode Lottery are supporting Royal Voluntary Service and the Virtual Village Hall. Keeping busy and maintaining a sense of routine have been shown to be helpful in supporting mental health and wellbeing during this time, and learning new skills benefits all of us, whatever our age.”

Royal Voluntary Service is one of Britain’s largest volunteering charities with volunteers supporting thousands of people each month in hospitals and in the community. The charity is also one of the largest retailers in the NHS with its network of cafes and shops providing a valued haven in hospitals.

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To find out more about the Virtual Village Hall, visit royalvoluntaryservice.org.uk/VVH

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Steve Ott

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