Check In and Chat Plus Volunteer

Getting started

You should introduce yourself and let the person know that you are a volunteer who is supporting the Volunteer Responders programme. Please be aware that the person you are supporting may have referred themself or a healthcare professional has put in a request for support on their behalf.

Make sure they are aware of the referral and that they are happy to continue talking, let them know you will be calling them 3 times per week over the next 6 weeks.

As a Check In and Chat Plus Volunteer you may be asked to support the following people:

  • Who are housebound and have little contact with others.
  • Who are anxious about leaving the house.
  • Who have recently been discharged from hospital.

Key tasks

  • Initiating friendly conversations, led by them and focussing on what they wish to discuss
  • At your discretion, and only where appropriate, supporting people to take positive steps to improve their mental and physical wellbeing  
  • If you feel it is appropriate, telling them about resources and encouraging them to get in touch with local organisations and community groups for further help
  • Providing a listening ear to help reduce loneliness and isolation.

As appropriate to their circumstances, you may choose to offer gentle suggestions to help them connect with others, become more physically active or learn a new skill. The NHS 5 steps to mental wellbeing gives a good framework to help with this.

If they have access to the internet you can point them to the Royal Voluntary Service Virtual Village Hall where they can access online sessions like creative arts and crafts, music and singing, cooking and baking, dance and exercise and technology skills. You may also want to look at and the NHS Better Health website also offers guidance on kickstarting your health which can be shared with them.

At the end of the call ensure you agree when your next call will take place, and this should be at a mutually convenient time.

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Page last reviewed: 03 November 2023