Community Response Volunteer

Supporting with shopping

Contacting the person that you are supporting

Call the person to let them know that you will be supporting them either as a one-off or as part of the 6-week period as requested. Agree how you can support them and what date and time will work best each week, only taking instruction from the person named on the referral. You may decide to call every week and check requirements or agree a set day to support. Let them know that you will not be able to enter their home, you are only able to place shopping/medication on the doorstep or just inside the doorway and they must be home to receive the items.

Step 1 - Volunteers should call the person to confirm what they need:

  • Ask if they need you to do their shopping or go to pick up a pre-paid order.
  • If you will be doing their shopping, make a list of what they need or collect it from them beforehand (maximum £60 per visit).
  • Volunteers are not permitted to purchase alcohol or tobacco products for the person being supported.
  • Ask if there are any brands the person requires, or should you still buy the item if their preferred brand is out of stock? Please also check if the person has any dietary requirements.
  • Ask how they would like to pay for the goods. See payment options
  • If you need to collect a voucher, pre-paid card or cash in advance of shopping, arrange a suitable time to go and collect.
  • Explain that you will only be able to drop off the shopping at the doorstep and check they are able to come to the door to collect it.

Step 2 - Complete the request

  • Go shopping and deliver the shopping to the person making sure you give them a receipt.
  • If you don’t have access to transport and are using public transport or a bike, please ensure expectations are managed with the person being supported as to the weight of goods you can manage at any one time and don’t overload yourself.

 Step 3 - Deliver the items

If you have agreed to drop off shopping or other essential items, confirm with the person:

  • Estimated time of arrival. On arrival, you will knock or ring the doorbell.
  • Agree a form of payment for the shopping and refer to payment options for further guidance.
  • You will leave the shopping at the front door. Request the person retrieves the shopping from the doorstep.
  • Any receipts, gift card or change that needs to be returned should be returned.
  • Allow the person to check the receipt matches the amount spent.


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Page last reviewed: 03 November 2023