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volunteer support for resident wellbeing


9th January 2024    
2:00 pm - 3:00 pm

Event Type


Building on the success of the NHS Volunteer Responders programme during the pandemic, the government expanded the scheme into adult social care – forming a joint NHS and Care Volunteer Responders programme. Across England, care providers can now ask volunteers to help people in a range of care settings. Volunteers are available to support people receiving care through chat services and delivery roles.

While volunteers are not a replacement for highly valued paid staff, there is no doubt that care teams reap the benefits of their support. Volunteer Responders are freeing up valuable time for care colleagues and helping to support the health and wellbeing of those in receipt of care.

Research conducted by Royal Voluntary Service found that volunteer support improved and enriched people’s experiences of care in care home settings. The evidence highlighted benefits for care recipients, including improved mood, enhanced cognitive functions, and general improvements in care service quality.

The NHS and Care Volunteer Responders programme is eager to support the care sector and is encouraging professionals to make full use of the programme. These services are free to use with no cost incurred by the provider.

Services open for referral include:

  • Check In and Chat: Telephone support to people who need a chat and some encouragement to improve their mental health and wellbeing. This service is available for up to 18 weeks, but the referrer can make a repeat referral after the first period ends.
  • Check In and Chat Plus: Regular telephone calls – three calls a week over a six-week period from the same volunteer – for people who would benefit or prefer to speak to the same volunteer.
  • Community Response: Collection and delivery of essential shopping and prescriptions. This service is available for a one off or for up to six weeks.
  • Pick-Up and Deliver: Volunteers to transport medication or small items of medical equipment to people’s homes and care homes, from NHS sites or between sites.

The NHS and Care Volunteer Responders programme is available seven days a week and comes with comprehensive support and assurance. There is a helpline, safeguarding team and problem-solving team available between 8am – 8pm every day. Regional Relationship Managers are available in each region to answer questions about the programme, the volunteer support available and how to make a referral.