National volunteering charity ‘honoured’ to takeover City cemetery café with new healthy eating focus

The City of London Cemetery and Crematorium has announced that charity Royal Voluntary Service will take over the running of its on-site café.

The charity will fully refurbish the premises and bring in a new menu focused on healthy eating, providing high quality food and barista style coffee at an affordable price.

The City of London Corporation, which manages the cemetery, retendered in June as the previous occupant’s five-year lease came to an end.

The Royal Voluntary Service supports the public and the NHS in every part of the UK – volunteering in hospitals, at home 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.

Chairman of the City of London Corporation’s Port Health and Environmental Services Committee, Keith Bottomley, said:

“We are very excited to be working with the Royal Voluntary Service.

“It’s a new step for the café with a focus on healthy eating which is a direction we are keen to take.

“It is also great to be working with a charity who have a dedicated team of volunteers who will help run the café.

“We want to provide the absolute best service possible at this site and look forward to the refurbishment.”

Head of Retail Operations at Royal Voluntary Service, Chris Gray, said:

“We are honoured to be setting up a café on site at the City of London Cemetery and Crematorium.

“This is a place where people will come for refreshments as they pay their respects to loved ones and our staff and volunteers will make it a safe and friendly environment for them to do so.

“We are passionate about supporting the local community and are looking forward to welcoming staff and volunteers from East London to help us run the café.”

The City of London Cemetery and Crematorium is a Grade I listed landscape, with eight Grade II listed buildings within the site, in the heart of East London which has been open since 1856.

The 200-acre site provides a picturesque, safe, parkland atmosphere and offers formal gardens, well maintained roadways, tree lined avenues and local heritage.

The cemetery is located in the London Borough of Newham, opposite Wanstead Flats and is a short walk from Manor Park railway station.

Amongst the famous people buried at the Cemetery are Sir Robert Hooke, Bobby Moore and two of the Jack the Ripper victims.

The Cemetery & Crematorium is visited by nearly half a million people throughout the year, as well as a similar number of people attending the 3,500 funeral services each year.

Over one million people have been buried or cremated at the site.


Kristina Drake| Media Officer, Public Services

City of London Corporation

M: 07710860884

D: 020 7332 1125

Notes to editors

The City of London Corporation is the governing body of the Square Mile dedicated to a vibrant and thriving City, supporting a diverse and sustainable London within a globally-successful UK.

The City of London Cemetery and Crematorium has received a prestigious Green Flag award - the national standard for parks and green spaces in England and Wales - every year since the year 2000. It was the first cemetery to be awarded the Green Flag and the first cemetery to be awarded the Green Heritage Award.

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About Royal Voluntary Service

· Royal Voluntary Service is one of the largest voluntary service organisations in the country. It inspires and enables thousands of volunteers to give their skills, experience, energy and time to help people in need in hospitals, at home and in the community.

  • Originally set up as the Women’s Voluntary Services in 1938 (subsequently the WRVS from 1966-2013), it started out helping civilians during the Second World War.

· To mark its 75th anniversary in 2013, it changed its name to ‘Royal Voluntary Service’ to reflect the role played by all its volunteers, men as well as women.

· The charity’s volunteers improve patient experience in hospital, aid recovery after a stay on ward, help older people better support themselves at home and stay fit and active and build meaningful social connections.

· Royal Voluntary Service supports volunteers to run services in the community such as lunch and dining clubs, physical activity classes, craft, gardening and other hobby groups.

· The charity is one of the UK’s largest hospital retailers with 230 volunteer-run shops, cafes and trolley services providing tea and company to patients, hospital staff and visitors. Royal Voluntary Service promotes healthy eating and drinking in hospitals through its Healthier Choices programme. It has been ranked top of the Healthy Hospital Food League Table by the Campaign for Better Hospital Food and has been awarded a Social Enterprise Mark for its retail operation.

· It works collaboratively with other charities, social care providers and the NHS to help create a society where everyone feels valued and involved. It is partnering with HelpForce to scale up the number of volunteers embedded in the NHS.

· For more information on the Royal Voluntary Service, please visit