FAQs for referring organisations

Programme changes - June 2024

Why are the changes taking place?

Changes have been made to the Volunteer Responders programme to make it easier for you to request volunteer support for your site and/or the person you support.

What are the changes?

Support will be separated into role types for easier navigation of the volunteer support available e.g. Telephone Support, Site Support. A range of different volunteer activities will sit under each role type.

More volunteer activities will be available to request as shifts. This means you can book volunteers in advance and can monitor which shifts have been filled and which volunteers have accepted them. For particularly urgent requests, you will still be able to request a volunteer to provide immediate assistance via an alert.

There will be space for you to add a description of your task so you can offer volunteers more information about the support you need.  This allows you to tailor your requests within the boundaries of the activity. However, you must not add private information about a client into the description box.

You will also be able to track your referrals via a referrer dashboard which will give you a greater view of the status of your referral.

What volunteer roles have changed?

All current volunteer activities will be available, but we have updated some names. Check In and Chat Plus has become Companionship Calls, for example, to improve understanding.

Under the Community Response role type, we have separated out large and small shops and pharmacy collection and delivery – this can also be used for other types of prescription delivery such as glasses or hearing aids.

In addition, Connect, which is where you can request a volunteer to accompany someone to an activity in the community such as a lunch club or walk, now sits under Community Response. Connect is now available nationally.

What volunteer roles are new?

We have introduced new volunteer role types including In Home Support and Driving Support Plus. Through In Home Support, currently available in Kirklees, Birmingham, Buckinghamshire and Bournemouth with more to follow, you can request a volunteer to visit someone to help them enjoy a hobby or social activity in their home for example to play cards, bake cakes or do some gardening together.

Under Driving Support Plus, we have a new activity Pick Up and Deliver Plus. Requesting this support, will mean the volunteer will be able to deliver the medication and / or equipment to the patient’s home and will be able to store items appropriately.

What happens to referrals?

Most requests for volunteer support already in the system or added before 3 June will continue until they expire.

Referrers and people receiving support do not need to do anything. We will contact individual referrers directly if we need to update any requests in line with the changes we’ve made to the system. This will mainly be for some long running Check In and Chat and Pick Up and Deliver requests added before 3 June.  

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Page last reviewed: 05 June 2024