FAQs for Volunteer Responders

Connect pilot activity

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 cash access 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 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. 

Where is Connect activity taking place?

The pilot for Connect volunteering is running in Christchurch, Poole, Bournemouth, Birmingham, Kirklees and Buckinghamshire. If you are interested in this volunteer activity please keep an eye out for news on this activity rolling out in the future.

Can I combine a home visit with a community visit?

No, the activities are logged differently on GoodSAM so you will either receive a task to support someone in their home or out in the community. If a person you are supporting at home, decides they want to get out and about in the community another referral will need to be made. But all visits will start and end in the home for both types of visit. 

How do I encourage the person to do things independently?

We urge volunteers to reiterate to the person receiving support that you are there to support them to engage in activities until they feel confident to participate independently. You could ask them what barriers they have to doing a particular activity so you can remove them together. 

If I end the lone working process on the app will this also mark my task as completed?

No, you must end the lone working as per the guidance and also press the button to show you have completed the task, via the ‘actions’ tab on the GoodSAM app, on your phone. 

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.

Can I accept/give a gift from/to the person I am supporting?

In the Volunteer Agreement you signed up to when joining Volunteer Responders, it states that you agree to: ‘Not accepting any gifts or money from people you are supporting’. We understand this might be hard to refuse and you don’t want to cause offence but giving or receiving gifts can blur boundaries and may create in the mind of the person being supported a perceived personal friendship instead of a professional relationship.

I'm off duty why did I receive a Connect task?

If you have previously completed a Connect task that is part of an ongoing sequence of tasks, for the same person, you will be offered the next weeks task for first refusal. To offer this continuity we have overridden the ‘on/off duty’ function. This is only for Connect activity. You will not receive any other activities if you are off duty. 

If you receive a Connect task and do not wish to complete you can reject the notification, this will pass the task to another volunteer. You will remain off duty. 

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Page last reviewed: 01 December 2023