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Getting You Started Guide - Check In and Chat Plus Volunteer

Check In and Chat Plus Volunteer

This role provides a regular check-in by telephone support to the same individual for a duration of 10 weeks. The amount of calls you make can be mutually agreed between you and the person you support. However, typically our volunteers make up to 3 calls a week.

What do Check In and Chat Plus Volunteers do?

In your role you’ll be contacting people that are isolating or unable to leave the house, by having a chat over the phone. You’ll be offering a friendly voice and a listening ear to those who may experience loneliness in the current situation.

Telephone support is a positive step to engage with people who may have little or no contact with others, a consequence of self-isolating may lead to issues with confidence, self-esteem, and loneliness.

This support you will be giving is a regular phone call (typically 3 times a week) over a 10 week period. The calls can be flexible to suit the time you have available to give, and is mutually agreed between yourself and the person you are supporting.

This support will not amount to a treatment or intervention but will provide:

  • Companionship – Forming a relationship of mutual support and understanding
  • Support – Pointing to resources that help with mental health first aid
  • Check-in – To help clients identify activities and support that they can access
  • Listening ear – Encouraging the client to talk about their experiences.

Your own understanding of the challenges faced by shielding, self-isolating or limiting contact with others can be a source of support to those who may be at risk of loneliness.

Who is eligible for the Check In and Chat Plus Volunteer service?

A regular call from a volunteer may be required by those individuals who:

  • Has ever been advised to shield by a health professional.
  • Is vulnerable for another reason, (for instance, due to disability, pregnancy, aged over 70, has a long-term condition such as Parkinson's or epilepsy, or are vulnerable due to a mental health condition).
  • Is someone with caring responsibilities.
  • Is self-isolating because they’ve been diagnosed with coronavirus (COVID-19) or have symptoms, or they’ve been in contact with someone who has.
  • Has been instructed to self-isolate by the ‘Test and Trace’ service, because they’ve been near someone infected.
  • Is self-isolating ahead of planned hospital care.
  • Has been instructed to self-isolate following entry into the country.

The programme is also open to frontline health and care staff.

Full guidance for getting you started

We have created a Getting You Started Guide to help get you started as a Check In and Chat Plus Volunteer. Please read this to understand how best to protect yourself and others as a volunteer and understand more about the following topics:

  • Safeguarding
  • Keeping you safe
  • Making the phone call and building rapport
  • How to support an individual living with dementia

You can find out more about being an NHS Volunteer Responder in our FAQs and information to support you in your role in our fact sheets.

Print entire guide Page last reviewed: 11 December 2020
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