Contacting the person that you are supporting
Call the person and introduce yourself as an NHS and Care Volunteer Responder and let them know that they have been referred into the programme by a health or care professional. Inform them that you will be supporting them either as a one-off or as part of the 6-week period.
If there was any information on the task that you would like to clarify it is best to do this now. The person making the request for support should have included details such as if there are any pets in the home, if anyone else will be there, do they smoke etc. If this information is not included and you have any concerns i.e. you are allergic to pet hair you can ask the person during your first call. If you are unable to support due to this information, please let the person know you will contact our Support Team who can arrange for another volunteer to attend.
Discuss with them how you can support them, the types of social activities they are interested in, and if they would like support to access services in the local community.
Once you have agreed how you can support them discuss 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 and time to support.
Once you have agreed how you can support them, confirm the date and time that was on the task notification. If the person you are supporting wants to change the time of support, you can do this via the GoodSAM app, if you are available to support at the new time. If they request for the date to be changed, you will need to contact the Support Team on 0808 196 3382 who will make the change for you. You can only make changes to the date and time of the referral when requested by the person names on the referral e.g. requests cannot be excepted from a family member or friend on their behalf. If you are not available to support on the new time and date requested, please pass the task to another volunteer. Refer to the lone working guidance.
Remember if you are supporting in the home you can attend for a maximum period of 2 hours or 4 hours if you are helping them out in the community.
The referral should give you an idea of the support that is required, but if you feel their needs don’t match your interests after the initial conversation, be honest with the person and tell them that you will pass the task onto another volunteer.
If you have contacted the person to arrange a visit and feel unwell, please cancel your visit by letting the person know and ringing our support team, they may be able to arrange for another volunteer to attend.
Please read the other sources of information section of this guide for guidance on supporting a person living with dementia and supporting a person living with poor mental health which may help you in this activity.
It is really important you do not attend if feeling unwell as the person may have a weakened immune system.
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Page last reviewed: 28 November 2023