FAQs for Volunteer Responders

Accepting/rejecting alerts

I need help setting up the GoodSAM app and guidance on how to respond to alerts

You'll find the step-by-step guidance for setting up the app and responding to alerts in the Getting You Started Guides and on our Volunteer Responders website. We also have a video you can watch to help get you started:  GoodSAM app video.

Do I have to accept every request that comes through?

No, only commit to what you can. Turn your ON DUTY toggle to on when you are available and select OFF when you are not available. If you do not want to accept a specific request, click 'Reject' on the GoodSAM app.

What happens if I accept a request but then find that I cannot make it or get delayed?

You can ‘Pass to another volunteer’ via the GoodSAM app if you can no longer help. 

How long will the information regarding the alert stay on my phone?

The details of a task will remain on your phone for 2 days minimum. The length of time the details will stay on your phone depends on what number volunteer you are within the alert cycle, therefore for most people, the alert will be on your phone for longer than 2 days, however please be assured that if you are the last volunteer to receive the alert you will still have the details for 2 days.

Please note that if you select that you have completed a task (prior to actually completing it) the details will disappear.

Can I screenshot the person’s details so I can call them later?

The details of a task will remain on your phone for 2 days minimum. We ask that you do not screenshot the details as this may transfer to a storage area like the cloud. Please note that if you select that you have completed a task (prior to actually completing it) the details will disappear.

I have accepted a task for the future (a few days time) but can no longer help?

Please call the Support Team on 0808 196 3382

I have received an alert that is 50 miles away from me and I am not a Check In and Chat Volunteer?

Please 'Pass to another volunteer'. This may happen if the location settings are not correct on your phone. Make sure your location settings for your phone and the app are turned on and wait for another referral to come through. Please call our Support Team on 0808 196 3382 if you require support. 

For Check In and Chat, location is not important as this is a telephone service.

Why am I receiving alerts after 7:30pm?

The GoodSAM app will only send notifications up to 7:30pm, however due to your signal/wifi availability/settings you may receive these alerts to your phone after this time. Please note our Support Team is open until 8pm on 0808 196 3382 if you need any help.

Why have I received an alert from yesterday?

This may happen if the referral was made and accepted by a volunteer who then dropped it after the 7:30pm cut-off. If you are unsure about whether you will be able to complete an alert, please reject it to ensure it is sent to another volunteer in time to avoid this happening.

Does being a Volunteer Responder mean you will be called to an emergency? Is this the same as a First Responder for heart attacks?

You will only be asked to support tasks linked to Volunteer Responder activities you agreed to do. The GoodSAM app is used by a number of organisations for different purposes, such as emergency responses. However, you will be using it as part of the Volunteer Responder programme, which does not involve dealing with medical emergencies.

I can only support during the evenings and weekends, is this ok?

Yes, of course, whatever support you can offer is appreciated. You just need to ensure that when you can support, the ON DUTY toggle is turned ON in the GoodSAM app. When you are unavailable for support switch the ON DUTY toggle to OFF. That way you will never be sent requests for support when you are unavailable. 

Can I add another activity to my volunteer record?

We are currently reviewing the support and activities required for the programme. Please review the website for any updates regarding new volunteer activities.

If there are new activities you would like to sign up for you can go to goodsamapp.org/login and log in with the email address you used to sign up, you will be able to amend your activities under the ‘Change your current roles’ tab.

Can I stop certain alerts/remove an activity from my volunteer record?

Yes, you can untick an activity by logging in to goodsamapp.org/login using the email address you used to sign up, and access the ‘Change your current roles’ tab.

Can I stop certain alerts/remove an activity from my volunteer record?

Yes, you can untick an activity by logging in to goodsamapp.org/login using the email address you used to sign up, and access the ‘Change your current roles’ tab.

How will I see Pick Up and Deliver tasks?

Pick Up and Deliver tasks can be received in 2 ways. A short notice task that will need to be completed on the day will come via an alert on the GoodSAM App. Advanced notice future tasks which will be a shift, where your help is needed for a period of time and is likely to involve multiple journeys or deliveries. Future tasks can be found in the 'Tasks' section of the GoodSAM app.

I'm a Pick Up and Deliver Volunteer, what will I be asked to collect/deliver?

Pick Up and Deliver volunteers will be asked to deliver medicines or monitoring equipment to recently discharged people from hospital or in a virtual ward. These items will be delivered to a person's home address. Any equipment you are given will be portable and can be handed over at the doorstep. Medicine deliveries will not contain any controlled substances.

I'm a Community Response Volunteer, what types of tasks will be asked to do in an alert?

You may not receive specific details in a community response alert, you can confirm with the person being supported when you contact them what support they require. This should only be a request to pick up shopping, a prescription or lateral flow test. If you are asked to do something else please advise the person being supported that you cannot assist outside of these tasks and contact the Support Team on 0808 196 3382 if you have any concerns. 

I'm a Check In and Chat Volunteer, why can I only make 3 calls a month?

Following a review of our activities, we have received advise from the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) that Check In and Chat volunteers should only make up to 3 calls in a rolling 30 days.

The calls you provide are invaluable so please continue to make 3 a month where possible. We would also ask you to consider supplementing these calls by signing up as a Check In and Chat Plus volunteer as well. This would mean on top of the 3 one-off calls you make a month, you would have regular conversations with the same person (3 calls per week for 6 weeks). Check In and Chat Plus supports more vulnerable people and requires a DBS. Referrers are provided with guidance on who is suitable for this support.

When does the 30 day period start from for Check In and Chat Volunteers?

The 30 day period was set to 20 May 2023 for existing volunteers who already had Check In and Chat active as an activity. For anyone adding the role after 20 May 2023, the date of adding the activity will be the date it starts from.

Can I make more than 3 Check In and Chat calls a month if I have a DBS?

Although you have a DBS check as a Volunteer Responder we need to provide equity across all volunteers accepting Check In and Chat tasks. As we cannot, at this time, invite volunteers to step forward to DBS for this role we have made the decision to limit all volunteers to the same number of tasks.

How will I know what type of support a referrer requires from me as a Steward Volunteer?

Referrers have been advised that they must include the type of support they require in the additional information section of the task alert e.g. stewarding at a vaccination site. If you have not received clear task information in your alert, you can reject the task. You may also want to raise this with the Support Team who can contact the referrer and advise them to re-submit a more detailed referral.

What types of support cannot be requested under the Steward Volunteer activity?

Volunteers should not be expected to perform duties such as a receptionist role, clinical roles or stewarding for non-healthcare events or transport hubs. If you have received an alert requesting these types of support, please call the Support Team who will contact the referrer.

I have selected ‘I will attend’ for a Steward Volunteer task but can no longer attend, what should I do?

Once you have confirmed attendance, this will show on your ‘tasks’ screen with attending in green, next to that shift. If you need to cancel a shift, swipe across the task, still on the tasks screen, and press ‘no longer attending’.

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Page last reviewed: 26 January 2024