Telephone Support

Check In and Chat Call

A Check In and Chat Call provides friendly telephone chats and encouragement to reduce loneliness and improve a person’s wellbeing. 

The support you will be giving is a one-off phone call. You are calling to help them feel better, you should always be guided by what is important to them, and what they would like to chat about – just having you there to listen might be what they need most. 

Check In and Chat Call Volunteers can make up to 3 calls a month, this is because the activity does not require a DBS check. If you would like to make more calls, we would ask you to consider supplementing these calls by signing up as a Companionship Calls Volunteer. All calls must be completed by 8pm, please don’t try to ring someone after this time.

Getting started 

Before your first task 

  1. Before calling the person you are supporting, ensure you withhold your number. This is to protect you from unsolicited calls and to ensure safeguarding procedures are followed. You can do this by dialling 141 for Android or #31# for Apple before the person's number or go into your phone's settings. Do not click on the phone number within the task information without editing. You can read more about data protection and confidentiality as well as safeguarding. 
  2. It is important to uphold the confidentiality of the person at all times. You may receive/hear personal information or details through conversations. All forms of personal information must be treated with respect and be handled in a highly confidential way. 
  3. Think about how you safely store contact details, do not leave these in a place that other people can access. If you are able to lock these away in a safe place, please do so. Once the task is completed destroy this information, please ensure it is shredded in a confidential manner. 
  4. If you call and don’t get an answer, try again later that day. If you find that you are not able to make contact after 3 attempts please press the ‘PERSON DID NOT ANSWER’ button on the GoodSAM app, this will alert our Support Team to follow up. 

Full guidance for using the app can be found in Using the GoodSAM app.

Activity specific tips 

If you are unsure about how to start your call we have some tips and questions here that might help. We hope that you will engage with the people you are calling by actively listening and building rapport through an enjoyable chat. 

Using open questions that start with who, what, where, when, why and how or tell me about… will help to guide your conversation naturally. 

  • How are you doing/feeling today? 
  • Tell me about yourself 
  • What did you do this morning/afternoon? 
  • What is a typical day like for you?

Listening is just as important as asking questions. Carefully pay attention to what the person tells you and respond without judgement. You can repeat back what has been said to check your understanding. 

If you think it is appropriate, and if they are happy to do so, you may choose to use elements of the evidence-based NHS 5 steps to mental wellbeing, which is an approach to supporting mental health. The aim of this is to help them explore positive changes they could make to their lives to help them feel better. If you use this approach, you should always be sensitive to limitations that they may have, for example around their mobility, or if they might have dementia. 

If you experience any difficulties while you’re volunteering or face any circumstances which make you feel uncomfortable i.e. concerns or disclosures about or from the person you are supporting, we are here to support you. Please call the Support Team immediately on 0808 196 3382. All concerns will be handled sensitively, and we will work with you to ensure a safe and positive volunteering experience.    

Potential questions you may be asked 

We live close to each other; shall we meet up? 

Even if you find out that you live close to person you are supporting, you must not arrange to meet up outside of the programme. Safeguards are put in place to protect our volunteers and the people we support, and any meetings outside of these boundaries are not supported. 

See other potential questions you may be asked.

Follow the links below to other sources of information that will support you in your volunteering activities. 

Skills Bank 

We have a selection of resources in the Skills Bank that may help you with your volunteering. We have linked to the resources that we think would support you with this activity, take some time to look through them to build your confidence. 

Print entire guide
Page last reviewed: 05 June 2024