FAQs for referring organisations

More information about the volunteer services

What support are volunteers able to provide?
  • Check In and Chat: Provides telephone support to people in need of companionship and encouragement to improve their mental health and wellbeing. This support will be a one-off phone call for up to 18 weeks.
  • Check In and Chat Plus: Provides regular telephone support to people who may be housebound and have little contact with others, are anxious about leaving the house or have recently been discharged from hospital in need of companionship and encouragement to improve their mental health and wellbeing. This support will be 3 calls a week, over a 6-week period.  
  • Community Response: Provides support with the collection and delivery of essential shopping, prescriptions or lateral flow tests where there is a current health need. This is on a one-off basis or for a period of 6 weeks, days and times to be agreed between the volunteer and the person supported.
  • Pick Up and Deliver: To transport equipment, supplies and/or medication between NHS services and sites or to people who have been recently discharged or are on virtual wards.
  • Steward Volunteer: Provides stewarding at sites where COVID-19 vaccinations are taking place.
What other roles will be available?

We frequently review the needs needs of the programme, and we will update referrers when new roles are added, for example following a successful pilot activity.

How are tasks matched to volunteers?

Once a professional referrer has made a request for support, the request is identified as an active volunteer task to volunteers registered in the local area. The volunteers pick the task they want to do that day and close the task once complete. Volunteers show themselves as 'available' when their app is switched to 'on duty'. This is a live system. Once you submit a referral it will go into the system to be matched.

I have a person who would like to speak to a volunteer in a different language. Is this available?

Our system will automatically search for a volunteer who speaks a persons preferred language stated on the referral, but unfortunately we can't guarantee a match. If there isn't a volunteer available to match the person's preferred language or in their area, the search will default back to English.

I have placed a referral for multiple volunteers, but there aren’t enough volunteers accepting the requests.

Contact the Support Team on 0808 196 3382, who will be able to pass your referral on to the programme team for investigation. It may be that the information in the alert is not clear enough, or the details have been recorded incorrectly. The programme team will also be able to access another route to help you access more volunteers. 

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Page last reviewed: 16 November 2023