Guide for referrers

Connect - referrer guide

Connect Volunteers: Can provide support to anyone over 18, with capacity and need identified by a Health, Care or Voluntary Sector professional to access and reconnect with the community and engage in social activities.

Connect volunteers will support people to participate in activities but will not be able to complete activities on behalf of the person requiring support.

Acceptable activities – to be completed together

  • Baking
  • Gardening support e.g. planting bulbs with the person etc
  • Arts and crafts
  • Reading
  • Games
  • Supporting to access activities in the community e.g, going for a walk, visiting a Library, Social Group or Lunch Club
  • Support to access the local shops or supermarkets to do their own shopping, accompanying them to a local café
  • Support to use technology e.g. placing an online grocery order or setting up an email address
  • Support to use public transport e.g. finding and using the local bus routes
  • Support to maintain relationships by supporting people to visit a loved one in hospital or residential care.

Activities that are not acceptable

  • Gardening e.g. doing things for the person such as mowing lawns, cutting trees, heavy lifting
  • Cleaning
  • Making meals
  • Personal care e.g. supporting people to the toilet, getting dressed, feeding, hairstyling etc
  • Being a collection and delivery service
  • Collecting and dropping to personal appointments.

The volunteer support for this activity is available either as a one-off or once a week for a maximum of 6 weeks and will take place in the person’s home or in their local community. 

Eligibility for support

Referrals can be made from a Health and/or Social Care provider, which may include Local Authority teams and Voluntary Sector Organisations. The following criteria for individuals who are eligible for this support is:

  • Resident in England
  • Over 18
  • Ability to self-mobilise and transfer from seat/car etc
  • Person requesting support must have mental capacity
  • Currently in receipt of a health and/or social care service or in need of one

Exclusion criteria:

  • A person judged by the referrer to be a risk to themselves or others (i.e. due to a physical or mental health condition or previously known risk for example, criminal convictions.)
  • Individuals engaged in current misuse of alcohol/illicit substances

How to fill in the referral form

Complete the referrer information

  • Select your Local Authority and which type of organisation you represent from the dropdown list.
Referrer type GoodSAM app screen grab

  • Select which type of support you require: You must select the correct support as this is matched to a volunteer with specific vetting for that role. IF YOU ARE UNSURE, PLEASE CALL 0808 196 3382
GoodSAM screen grab  - Connect Support

You will be asked to confirm that the support is suitable for the person you are referring.

GoodSAm screen grab - connect confirmation

Details of the person you are referring

GoodSAM app screen grab - details

Support at a person’s home or community setting

Select whether the support is required at a person’s home or out and about in community setting.

GoodSAM app screen grab - in the home

The details required in this section will differ depending on the whether the volunteer is supporting the person at home or taking them out into the community. Support will always start and end at the home so the home address of the person being supported must be provided.

Enter the date and time that the volunteer should arrive, a calendar will pop up to allow information to be entered.

Enter the time that the volunteer is needed until.

GoodSAm screen grab - Connect calendar

Will the volunteer need their own transport? This will assign the task only to volunteers that have declared there are willing to drive and have their own vehicle.

In the free text box it is essential to include details about the person’s home such as, if there are any pets at the property, if there will be anyone else at the property, does the person smoke and any other information that will help the volunteer. We ask you to include this so that volunteer can assess if they are able to support i.e. they might have an allergy to pet hair.

At home - You will need to provide some brief details of the activity being asked of the volunteer e.g. support to bake a cake for a friend’s birthday or support to plant spring bulbs etc.

A community setting - You will need to provide some brief details about what the activity is, whether the volunteer will incur any costs to take part in the activity, the date and time of the activity. Remember that the volunteer will meet the person at their home, the start time should reflect when they need to attend the person’s home to take them out into the community.

Some examples are included in the text box below:

GoodSAm screen grab  - Connect additional information

 You will also need to select the frequency. 

GoodSAM app screen grab - yes or no

If support is needed on a more regular basis, select yes then select weekly.  Please note that support will only be provided once a week for a maximum of 6 weeks, support will end after this duration and a new referral will need to be made.

GoodSAM app screen grab - support time

Your details

Complete the referrer contact details and declaration.

GoodSAM app screen grab - contact details

What next?

Once you click Register Referral, your request will be live in the system. The system will now automatically search for Alerts will be sent to 1 volunteer at a time. If a volunteer accepts then the referral will be matched. If a volunteer rejects or does not accept an alert, it will move on to the next volunteer. 

No match is made

If your dashboard shows that a task was not matched with a volunteer, you can always log a new request for support.

If you have any problems, please contact the Volunteer Responders support team on 0808 196 3382.

Volunteer alerts or notifications

GoodSAM app screen grab  - Connect alert

A volunteer will receive an alert which they can accept or reject.

  • If they accept, they will receive details of the task.
  • If the volunteer does not want to accept the task then they can ‘drop the call’ which will then push the alert to the next volunteer.
  • This cycle continues until a match is found.
  • If accepted, the same volunteer will receive an alert, once a week for the 6 week period if the weekly duration is chosen.

The information you have entered into the referral form is shared with the volunteer:

  • Type of support required
  • Contact name
  • Address (not for Check in and Chat activities)
  • Telephone number

Please cancel referrals if the person no longer requires support. This avoids unnecessary calls being made, which can be frustrating for both the person being supported and the volunteer. Requests are time limited to 6 weeks.

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Page last reviewed: 01 December 2023