FAQs for Volunteer Responders

Community Response

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

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 or accompany them to an activity.

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. 

Do I need a car to carry out Community Response tasks?

Community Response Volunteers don’t need to be able to drive to carry out tasks, using public transport or a bicycle is accepted.

Just be mindful to set expectations with the person being supported if you are collecting shopping as to the weight of goods you can manage at any one time and be sure not to overload yourself.

The person who requested the support is not answering the door when I go to deliver.

When arranging the collection, do confirm with the person needing support the exact time you will be completing the task so they can agree to be in to receive the package.

Do knock loudly and ring any doorbell and allow time for the person to get to the door.

Try calling out through the letterbox and attempt to contact the person via the telephone. If you still cannot make contact, please telephone the Support team on 0808 196 3382.

You cannot hold on to the medicines overnight and delivery should be completed as soon as practicable to do so after collecting from the pharmacy.

I'm a Community Response volunteer and I've been asked to collect lateral flow tests, who is eligible for these?

People with identified health conditions are eligible for treatment for COVID-19 if they test positive. Free rapid lateral flow tests are available through local pharmacies for people with these identified conditions.

What should I do with the personal details provided to me so I can collect lateral flow tests on behalf of an eligble person?

It is important you follow the guidelines for dealing with confidential information. For a reminder when volunteering see data protection and confidentiality

What if the person I'm collecting lateral flow tests for doesn't want to give me their details?

Advise them that you will be unable to collect the tests without this information to provide to the pharmacy and they will need to arrange collection through another route.

What do I do if the pharmacy I go to has no lateral flow tests?

Try other local pharmacies. If you are not able to pick up any tests please let the person know as soon as possible.

Which pharmacies can I collect lateral flow tests from?

Most pharmacies should have these in stock for eligible people. You can choose a pharmacy local to you rather than the one the person might usually use.

As a Community Response Volunteer, will I need to inform the person I am supporting or the Support Team that I cannot support for the full 6 week period?

You do not need to inform the person you are supporting if you are not able to continue. If you are no longer able to support, reject the alert and this will pass it to another available volunteer.

This volunteer will make contact with the person needing support. You can contact the Support Team on 0808 196 3382 if you have any concerns.

If the person I am supporting asks me to purchase supplies for an activity can I take their bank/debit/credit card to make the purchase?

You are not permitted to take a person’s bank card to a cashpoint to withdraw money on their behalf or pay for shopping contactless or by pin payments.

You are only permitted to use the Get Cash scheme and must follow the payment guidance we have for our Community Response volunteers. 

Can I bring supplies for activities such as baking to the person’s home?

We don’t advise that you bring your own supplies or equipment as we don’t want things to get damaged or lost in transit. We also want to encourage the people we support to be able to continue with the activity after the volunteer engagement has ended which they may see as a barrier without a volunteer's equipment. If they don’t have some equipment/supplies needed for an activity they would like to do, you can see if you find this together. 

Can I claim for subsistence if I take the person out?

We don’t want volunteers to be out of pocket. You can claim reasonable subsistence via volunteer expenses. Please see our expenses policy to see what is acceptable to claim back at concur.co.uk/rvs

Can I pay for the person to have subsistence or take part in activities?

No. The person receiving support should have been made aware by the referrer that they will need to pay for their own activities and any expenses related to them e.g. bus fare, ingredients for baking, entry to any social groups or clubs, or subsistence when out and about. 

What if I don’t get on with the person and it is a 6 week referral?

Please contact the Support Team on 0808 196 3382 so that they can advise you.

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Page last reviewed: 12 June 2024