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I’m getting support

If you’re receiving support from an NHS Volunteer Responder

Our NHS Volunteer Responders are still here to support you.

Restrictions may be easing, and the government has announced shielding is being paused, on 1 August 2020, subject to new guidance. However, we understand many people are still cautious about the virus and what it means for them.

That’s why all our services remain in place to support you and everyone who continues to need our help during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Our volunteers are keen to help and provide services, such as:

  • Going shopping for you to collect and deliver food and essentials
  • Picking up your prescribed medicines
  • Phoning for a Check In and Chat call.

You can contact us on 0808 196 3646 (8am to 8pm, 7 days a week) if you need to:

  • Increase the amount of support you receive
  • Reduce or cancel the support you receive
  • Register to receive support for the first time.

Alternatively, please consider the following options if you have hearing loss:

  • Our Support Team is set up to accept and utilise the Relay UK service
  • BSL Health Access, which can connect a British Sign Language (BSL) user with the programme.

Our volunteers will continue to provide support to help you and others, including anyone 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 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.

Getting volunteer support

What happens next?

Your safety is important. Which is why we’ve issued clear instructions that all NHS Volunteer Responders will be required to follow when providing your support.

For your peace of mind, your NHS Volunteer Responder must:

  1. Call you on the phone to find out what you need if they’re going to collect shopping, medicines or other items.
  2. Tell you their name.
  3. Show you their proof of identity if they call at your home. This will be displayed on their phone. This will be done at a safe distance. For instance, by placing the phone on your doorstep and standing 2 metres back.
  4. Maintain a distance of 2 metres from you, when dropping off a delivery.
  5. Respect your personal data and confidentiality at all times.

The rules of the NHS Volunteer Responders programme mean they must not:

  • Enter your home.
  • Share their own personal contact details with you.

To protect yourself, you must never

  • Share your debit cards, credit cards or pin codes with your volunteer.
  • Give away personal financial information.

How can I pay for my shopping?

If your volunteer is helping you with shopping or collecting prescriptions, you can discuss your preferred payment options with them when they phone to ask what you need.

There are a number of ways to pay such as:

  • Using online click and collect services from your local supermarket, if you share the reference number your volunteer can collect your shopping
  • Some local shops allow you to place an order and pay in advance (this is not available in supermarkets)
  • Pay by phone at the check-out is available at some shops, including most Spar outlets. This allows you to pay from home, once the volunteer has completed the shop
  • Gift cards, e-vouchers, pre-paid cards and Grocery Choice cards can also be used. Your volunteer can use the card or the code to pay for your shop when they’re in store

As a last resort, and if none of the other options are suitable, you are able to pay for the shopping with cash up to a limit of £45. Your volunteer will always bring you a receipt and will follow necessary hygiene procedures when handling cards or cash.

You can find out more about our payment options.

Who should I contact if I have concerns about a volunteer?

Our volunteers are giving their time to support others and are doing so for no reward. However, if the volunteer support you were expecting does not arrive, or if your volunteer behaves in an inappropriate way, you should call us to let us know.

Safeguarding concerns can be raised by calling the Support Team on 0808 196 3382 and the lines open 9am to 6pm, 7 days a week.

Who should I contact if I want to cancel support from an NHS Volunteer Responder?

If you no longer need help from an NHS Volunteer Responder, contact the Support Team on 0808 196 3382 (available 8am to 8pm, 7 days a week) who will be able to cancel any further support immediately without any further steps.


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