FAQs for Volunteer Responders

Programme changes - June 2024

Why are the changes taking place?

Changes have been made to the Volunteer Responders programme and to the GoodSAM app to give you greater choice and greater control over your volunteering and a wider variety of volunteering opportunities.

What are the changes?

Changes to GoodSAM (on the App)

You’ll now see a new 'activities' tab on the GoodSAM app, offering a wider variety of roles based on your profile, the checks you have completed, and the volunteering you like to do. All the familiar roles will be there.

Following the changes, nearly all activities will be listed in the 'activities' tab and fewer will be sent as alerts that need an immediate response. This means you can pick the activities you want to do ahead of time, making it much easier for you to plan your volunteering. 

Please keep checking the activities tab on the GoodSAM app to pick your volunteering tasks.   

From August, there will still be the occasional siren (or music) alert, but this will be limited to urgent requests that require an immediate response. Please remain on duty and keep checking the activities tab as well. 

Changes to the volunteering roles and activities (on the GoodSAM website)

During your volunteering, you will use both the GoodSAM website and the GoodSAM mobile app. As a reminder, the GoodSAM website is where you manage your account, such as changing your contact details and adding or removing volunteering activities. The GoodSAM app is to book volunteering tasks and shifts. 

A range of different volunteer activities may be included within the roles you select, adding to the variety for you and expanding the help we can provide. For example, if you select Community Response, you may be offered Shopping, Pharmacy and Connect activities.  

The availability of shifts and tasks will depend on demand in your area. Even if there are fewer shifts in your area, checking the GoodSAM app regularly is a great help. 

We have also updated some names for some activities. For example, Check In and Chat Plus has been renamed Companionship Calls. You will also see some new activities, such as Connect, which was piloted in a few areas, and is now available across England.  

Log in to your GoodSAM account to check your volunteering activities. To find out more about an activity, simply click on the role guide underneath the activity name.  

What volunteering activities will you be able to see?

With the updates to the app made today, we will automatically add any role you are eligible for based on completed checks, such as a DBS check and driver status. You will see on the screenshot above that there are levels, Red, Green and Blue. Green is the highest level. Activities in this level are open to volunteers who have completed an Enhanced DBS check with Adult Barred.

You can also remove any roles you don’t want to see on the app by logging in to your account on the GoodSAM website and going to ‘Manage your current roles’.

What is the new Lone Working procedure?

As part of the introduction of new activities, we have expanded opportunities for volunteers to support people one to one both in their home or accompanying them to different activities in the community.  

We have a tried and tested Lone Working function within the GoodSAM app used through some of our pilot activities and can now roll this out wider to ensure volunteers stay safe when completing tasks.  

For the Community Response, In Home and Driving Support roles, you are required to follow the Lone Working guidance. This is important to keep you safe whilst volunteering. For Pick Up and Deliver Plus and Community Response, you may be asked to enter the person’s home to deliver items. This will depend on the needs of the person you are supporting. You can discuss this with them on first contact.  

Read the guidance on Lone Working.

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Page last reviewed: 05 June 2024