Volunteer eNewsletter

Volunteer eNewsletter

This email was sent to Volunteer Responders in May 2024.

In this edition we focus on:

  • Coming soon: an update to the programme
  • We need Steward support - current Stewards
  • We need Steward support
  • We’re here to help
  • Volunteer Focus Group – Disability Focus
  • Know someone who fancies a chat?
  • “I’m feeling more fulfilled now, helping people all the time”
  • Free Tickets for The Queen’s Reading Room Festival
  • Your questions answered

Page last reviewed: 17 June 2024

Coming soon: an update to the programme

We are pleased to share with you that we are about to make some exciting upgrades to the Volunteer Responders programme.

You suggested some changes to the programme, and we’ve responded. This includes upgrades to the GoodSAM app. You will have more choice and control to suit your way of life and how you want to organise your volunteering.

We would like to invite you to a webinar to find out more about these new updates. There are multiple options for dates and times. Please click below to sign up for a webinar.

Page last reviewed: 17 June 2024

We need Steward support -

We urgently need your support with Steward shifts for the spring vaccination campaign. Shifts are available now.

You can view and accept shifts in the Future Tasks tab on the GoodSAM app. Please book a shift if you can. If you have already booked a shift, thank you.

See further guidance on using the GoodSAM app[2].

Page last reviewed: 23 May 2024

We need Steward support

We urgently need your support with Steward shifts for the spring vaccination campaign. To help with Steward shifts, please add this activity to your profile.

If you previously held this activity, it has been removed as new checks are required to complete this activity.

To add the Steward activity, to log into your GoodSAM account. Once logged in, click the ‘Manage your current activities’ tab and tick the Steward activity. This will prompt you to complete a quick question on whether you have any unspent convictions.

If you need assistance with completing the process, please call 0808 196 3382[3]. Our Support Team will be happy to help you.

Page last reviewed: 23 May 2024

We’re here to help

As a Volunteer Responder, we want to ensure you feel safe and supported whilst volunteering. If you face any difficulties whilst working with clients or have any concerns, our Support Team are there to help.

Our Support Team hours are 9am to 6pm, 7 days a week. The phone number is 0808 196 3382[3]. If you need to report an urgent issue you have experienced whilst volunteering, immediate and critical safeguarding concerns can be raised 9am to 8pm, 7 days a week.

Page last reviewed: 23 May 2024

Volunteer focus group – Disability Focus

Did you know that in the UK, 22% of people have a disability? 42% of them are over state pension age.

We're looking for volunteers with disabilities or long-term health conditions to join a focus group. Our inclusion team is working on a project to help volunteers and staff understand disabilities better and make our volunteering opportunities more accessible. The aim is to help us develop training and resources and improve how we recruit and welcome disabled volunteers and those with long-term health conditions.

For more information and to register your interest, please email us at [email protected][4].

Page last reviewed: 28 May 2024

Know someone who fancies a chat?

The NHS and Care Volunteer Responders programme is open for self-referral for Check In and Chat and Check In and Chat Plus over the spring season.

This means people can request support themselves. All support is available free of charge, and people don’t need to be referred by a doctor. 

If you have a friend or family member who would benefit from a friendly phone call and a listening ear, call our team on 0808 196 3646[5] (8am to 8pm, 7 days a week).

Find out more about self-referral[6]

Page last reviewed: 23 May 2024

“I’m feeling more fulfilled now, helping people all the time”

After supporting his community through Volunteer Responders, Martin was able to work in the healthcare industry. Volunteering was just what he needed to make that next step. He loved helping people and found his current job wasn’t giving him nearly as much satisfaction as volunteering did.

The volunteering I did had opened up a new chapter in my working life - I felt confident that I now had the transferable skills required to find a part time job in the healthcare sector.

Now, my typical week includes two days working patient transport shifts with a private ambulance company in a paid role, but volunteering is still a big part of my routine. I’m feeling more fulfilled now, helping people all the time, and the work is stress-free.

Page last reviewed: 23 May 2024

Free Tickets for The Queen’s Reading Room Festival

Date: 8 June 2024 at 10:00 am - 4:30 pm, 6:00 pm - 9:30 pm

Location: Hampton Court Palace

We have been offered free tickets for our volunteers to attend The Queen's Reading Room Festival. This annual festival from our new Patron, Her Majesty Queen Camilla’s charity gathers some of the world’s best authors, actors, experts and literature lovers for a day celebrating books. You can view the full lineup here[7].

When booking, choose the session(s) you wish to attend and make sure you also book a Grounds Pass for entry to the festival. Please note that free tickets are only valid for performances held on the Main Stage and the Grounds Pass. Parking, as well as performances being held in the Great Hall and Cartoon Gallery, are not included and will incur additional charges if booked.

You can book your free tickets using the button and discount code below:

Discount code: tix4good2024[8]

Page last reviewed: 23 May 2024

Your questions answered

Questions this week include regarding Check In and Chat, whether you need to cancel shifts you can’t attend and where to find more shift information.

Read our latest FAQs[9]

I speak another language to English. Can I use this to help others who also speak this language?

Yes, our system will automatically search for volunteers who speak the preferred language of the client. You can update your language settings on the ‘Me’ tab in the GoodSAM app. 

How long should a Check In and Chat call last?

Check In and Chat calls can be as long as you like. From five minutes to an hour, it’s completely up to you and the person you’re speaking with. If you have a limited amount of time, it’s worth noting this at the start of your call to manage expectations.

Do I need to cancel Steward shifts that I can’t attend? 

Yes. It is important that you cancel any shifts you are unable to attend as soon as possible in the GoodSAM app, so that the vaccination site can find another volunteer. Try to give at least 48 hours’ notice. If you cancel a shift last minute or don’t show up for your shift, the vaccination site will be left without the support needed to function effectively, which could affect the number of people vaccinated that day. To cancel a shift, swipe across the shift on the ‘Future Tasks’ screen in the app and press ‘No Longer Attending’. 

Where can I find more information about a shift I’ve booked to attend? 

Swipe left on the shift in the ‘Future Tasks’ tab and press ‘Show Details’. You can view the vaccination site contact details by clicking on the ‘My Contact’ tab. Some shifts may also provide parking and travel information in the ‘Additional Information’ tab.

Page last reviewed: 23 May 2024


  • [1] /im-a-volunteer/programme-webinars
  • [2] /guides/the-goodsam-app/using-the-goodsam-app
  • [3] Tel:08081963382
  • [4] mailto:[email protected]
  • [5] Tel:08081963646
  • [6] /id-like-support
  • [7] https://royalreadingroom.seetickets.com/search/all?src=RVS&offercode=tix4good2024
  • [8] https://www.thebighelpout.org.uk/
  • [9] /guides/faqs-for-volunteer-responders