Welcome to Volunteer Responders

You have recently been added to this scheme so you can access volunteer support. The request may have been made by a healthcare professional e.g. your GP, a qualified nurse, your local authority, or by the organisation which supports you. Alternatively, you may have made the request yourself.

This service is provided by the NHS and is being delivered by Royal Voluntary Service. You will have been referred for one or more of the following types of support:

  • A Community Response Volunteer to help you with errands such as grocery shopping and collecting prescriptions for up to 6 weeks. This support will have been organised by a healthcare professional and is only available to people with a current health.
  • A Check In and Chat or Companionship Calls Volunteer who will call you on the telephone to have a friendly conversation and to see if you are You may receive calls for up to 18 weeks. If you would like these calls to continue after 18 weeks, please contact our Support Team on 0808 196 3646.
  • A Connect Volunteer who will support you to take part in a social activity or hobby in your home or in the community for example, to accompany you on walks, help with some This support will have been organised by a healthcare professional and is only available in some areas.

This is not an emergency service, so if you need urgent support, please get in touch with your healthcare professional or call 111 or 999.

We are delighted so many volunteers have stepped forward to offer support. We would like to reassure you that all our approved volunteers have had the required checks.

An example of volunteer ID in the GoodSAM app

Example of Volunteer Responders ID

Over the coming days, volunteer(s) will be in touch to help you. All Volunteer Responders have been given clear instructions on how to help safely and to respect your circumstances and background.

In supporting you they must:

  • Call you on the telephone before they undertake their duties (the exception is Check In and Chat and Companionship Calls which is conducted entirely by phone). Volunteers have been asked to shield their telephone number so the call may come through from a withheld number.
  • Tell you their name.
  • Show their proof of identity for you to view if they are visiting in person, this will be displayed on their phone, see example above.
  • Not enter your property (the exception is Connect where volunteers are able to come into your home).
  • Respect your personal data and confidentiality at all times.

They should not:

  • Share their personal contact details with you.
  • Stay in touch outside the support that has been organised by the professional who referred you or by you.

You must never:

  • Share your debit cards, credit cards or pin codes with your volunteer.
  • Give away personal financial information.
  • Ask the volunteer to maintain contact with you or ask for their phone number. This enables us to uphold safety precautions agreed with healthcare professionals and ensures that our insurance cover is valid.

Further guidance can be found on the NHS and Care Volunteer Responders website nhscarevolunteerresponders.org/faqs-for-people-receiving-volunteer-support

Ways to pay for your shopping

If your volunteer is helping you with shopping or collecting prescriptions, you can discuss your preferred payment options with them on your initial phone call. There are a number of choices open to you; for instance, you might want to use online ‘click and collect’ services from your local supermarket, if you share the reference number, your volunteer can collect your shopping. You are also able to pay for the shopping with cash up to a limit of £60. Your volunteer will always bring you a receipt. You can find out more about payment options on the NHS and Care Volunteer Responders website nhscarevolunteerresponders.org.

Our volunteers are giving their time to support others and are doing so for no financial reward. However, if the volunteer support you receive is not as expected, or if your volunteer behaves in a way you consider inappropriate, you should call us to let us know.

If you do not already receive telephone support and would like to arrange to have friendly phone calls with our volunteers, please contact our Support Team on 0808 196 3634.

Alternatively, if you have any questions or concerns or would like to change the support you receive, please call 0808 196 3646.

Thank you for reading this guidance. We hope that the volunteer support you receive makes a positive difference to you.

You may also like to look at Royal Voluntary Service advice and services, you can find this at royalvoluntaryservice.org.uk and at the Virtual Village Hall the charity runs virtualvillagehall.royalvoluntaryservice.org.uk where you can find online activity classes from crafts to Zumba, singing to meditation. It is free to take part and a Facebook profile is not required. Other websites that may be of interest are weareundefeatable.co.uk and theNHS Better Health website which offers guidance on kickstarting your health.

Please note: Providing you with volunteer support will involve us using your personal data, although we will keep this to a minimum. It will also involve Royal Voluntary Service using information about your health (and in instances of support with prescriptions, your medication(s), doses and treatments), provided by referrers for the purposes of providing support through the Volunteer Responder scheme.

We will always ensure that your personal data is safe and we will not use it for any other purpose. You can find more information about our use of your personal data in our online privacy notice available on our website nhscarevolunteerresponders.org.

Alternatively, if you would like a copy of our privacy notice sent to you in the post, please telephone us to let us know.

If you need this communication in alternative/another format, such as large print, audio transcript, braille including another language or if you need support due to a disability, please get in touch with [email protected].