Potential questions you may be asked
Can you continue to support me outside the Volunteer Responders programme?
Please explain that you are not able to offer this as a Volunteer Responder. We ask that you do not pass your contact details to any one you support, nor maintain an ongoing relationship with them.
The programme has been designed so that people get a different volunteer each time as part of our safeguarding for the programme and to protect you and the person you are supporting.
Healthcare professionals are referring people into the programme on the understanding that these safeguards are in place and upheld. Failure to do so risks undermining their confidence in making future referrals.
We recognise that many of you will want to help as much as you can but most people have been set up in the system to receive regular calls or support. This means they will benefit from a different volunteer calling each time. Continuing to contact them will only mean they receive multiple contacts from different volunteers which may confuse them.
We have a separate service for those with increased need who may benefit from speaking to the same volunteer over a longer period. Please contact the Support Team on 0808 196 3382 if you think the person you are speaking to may benefit more from this service or you can advise the person that they can self-refer for this service by calling 0808 196 3646 (please note this a different phone number to our main support line, specifically for self-referrals).
I need some practical help i.e. to collect my prescription or shopping on 0808 196 3382?
Advise them they can self-refer for a Community Response Volunteer to help with picking up prescriptions or shopping by calling 0808 196 3646 or you can contact the Support Team on 0808 196 3382 so they can follow up.
Can I take down your phone number, so I can call you if I need anything?
Establish what they mean by ‘need anything’ i.e. is this practical support we can offer through a different activity in the Volunteer Responders Programme, such as Community Response or by matching them with other support locally. Politely tell them that you are not permitted to give out your personal contact details.
I’m worried about my neighbour, can you call them if I give you their number?
We would suggest your neighbour calls our Support Team on 0808 196 3382 to see if they are eligible for support.
I’m feeling very sad/depressed/hopeless, I think I need some help
Talk to them to understand their needs and if required, call the Support Team to refer them for practical support. Or suggest they speak to their GP who can discuss their concerns with them. If you are concerned about them, please ensure you alert the Support Team.
I’m lonely and I don’t have anyone I can call
Ask who they would usually talk to/spend time with and see if they can contact any of these people via phone. Let them know about any local services you might be aware of or contact the Support Team who can follow up as they may be eligible to receive Check In and Chat Plus support with the same volunteer over a 6-week period.
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Page last reviewed: 19 February 2024