FAQs for Volunteer Responders

Site Support

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 on 0808 196 3382 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 role?

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 Support Team on 0808 196 3382 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’.

Is there a maximum number of shifts I can do?

If you are willing and able, you can commit to as many shifts as you feel able to support.

What happens if a referrer cancels Steward Volunteer shifts?

If a referrer cancels a request for Steward Volunteers and you have said you will attend, you will get a message in the messages/comms section of GoodSAM app. It will let you know of the cancellation and the shift/s will no longer show on your ‘tasks’ screen of GoodSAM.

I have arrived at shift and been sent away as they do not need volunteers?

Referrers have the facility to cancel a request for stewards or amend the number of stewards required. If you experience this then please contact us to let us know by calling the Support Team on 0808 196 3382 or email [email protected].

We will then follow this up and support the site to mitigate this happening again for you and for other volunteers.

Can I call the vaccination site for more details?

Please do not contact the referrer or vaccination site directly. Vaccination sites will be very busy. If you have any questions, please look at the Getting You Started Guide and these FAQs or if you need to speak to someone, please call our Support Team on 0808 196 3382.

I have been asked to complete a volunteer agreement at the vaccination site, is this correct?

Volunteers will be asked to do this by the NHS organisation responsible for managing vaccination sites in their area, known as a Lead Provider. It is an agreement between the Lead Provider and the volunteer, not with Volunteer Responders or Royal Voluntary Service.

When I log in to the app, there are no shifts in future tasks tab?

It’s important to check that all settings are correct and that notifications and location access is enabled. We have provided guidance in our GoodSAM app guide, 'how to download and enable settings'.

You should also check to make sure that you have the latest updates to the GoodSAM app. You can check this by going into your phone settings, into apps and checking if any updates are needed for the GoodSAM app.

You can also check the GoodSAM app in Apple Store or Google Play and if there are updates required you will be able to click on updates. This will ensure you have the latest version, and nothing is restricting access to future tasks.

If you are still experiencing issues, then please contact the Support Team on 0808 196 3382 or email [email protected]

My booked shifts have suddenly been cancelled and disappeared from the app. Why has this happened?

Occasionally shifts you have booked may be cancelled by the vaccination site due to unforeseen circumstances.

However, if you have a series of shift cancellations and/or they disappear from the app with no further details, please contact our Support Team on 0808 196 3382 so that we can investigate why this has happened.

What training will I be given?

The Getting You Started Guides explain what is required of each activity, these sit alongside other supporting materials for volunteers that you should review before starting any tasks.

As no specific training is required, when you arrive at a vaccination site for the first time, the Site Leader will take you through a site introduction and briefing.

Is there an expected dress code for Site Support Volunteers?

Volunteers are expected to dress in appropriate comfortable footwear and clothing, suitable for a predominantly outdoor role in a range of weather conditions:

  • Casual denim is acceptable (no rips/holes etc)
  • Volunteers are asked to avoid wearing the following; sports team shirts or clothing with slogans/logos or offensive language
  • As we move into warmer weather, it’s important to work safely and maintain a welcoming and professional image at our NHS sites.

Please remember the following:

Always wear enclosed shoes onsite for your safety, ripped jeans and crop tops should not be worn onsite; skirts and shorts should be a suitable length.

Where will I be able to store my personal belongings?

As sites do vary, we encourage you only to take the essentials you need for stewarding e.g. phone for ID, bottle of water. Wherever possible please avoid taking anything unnecessary with you or if driving to site leave any other belongings safely in your car.

You can ask the Site Lead if there is anywhere to store belongings but due to different types of vaccination sites this may not always be possible.

Has a vaccination site risk assessment been completed and can I have a copy?

Each vaccination site has been set up by NHS England and a site risk assessment has been completed as part of that process. Stewarding Volunteers reporting to a vaccination site for the first time will be briefed by the Site Lead on health and safety and emergency site procedures as part of their site orientation. This will vary from site to site. If you want a copy of a site’s risk assessment, please discuss this with the Site Lead.

Can I accept shifts directly from the vaccination site?

Shifts you arrange outside the GoodSAM app are not covered by NHS and Care Volunteer Responders programme and we can only pay expenses for stewarding shifts you accept through the GoodSAM app.

Volunteering outside of the app also stops other Volunteer Responders from having a fair opportunity to support shifts. Please help us keep you supported and let us know if you attend a vaccination site as a Volunteer Responder and are asked to sign up to the site’s own volunteering rotas. Please call the Support Team on 0808 196 3382.

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Page last reviewed: 12 June 2024