NHS Responders


Information for NHS Volunteer Responders

To help you get started in your role we have created Getting You Started guides for each of the volunteering roles and important fact sheets. Please be sure to read the information provided here.  It includes important safety and privacy information for you and the people you are supporting.

Please read our frequently asked questions if you have signed up as an NHS Volunteer Responder and have questions about your role.

You can find more information about our use of your personal data in our online privacy notice, click here.

Once you have been approved as a NHS Volunteer Responder, please make sure you watch the GoodSAM app video. This will show you how the app works and how you will receive requests for support. Click here.

Keeping You Safe as an NHS Volunteer Responder

We’ve created a handy leaflet of Do’s and Don’ts around safeguarding and personal safety which you can read here.

This is a non-uniform role – please do not create your own.

We have designed this programme to be non-uniform.  This is to:

  • ensure there is clarity for those we are supporting about how to ID check their volunteer
  • and to prevent the risk of individuals who are not our volunteers creating replica uniforms that could potentially be used for negative purposes

It is therefore vital that our NHS Volunteer Responders do not create their own uniforms and instead use their profile as identification within the GoodSAM Responder App.

Help us spread the word

We’ve created a poster and a flyer which are available for you to download and print. They are provided in a colour version and in black & white so you can choose which is best for your printer.

If you are out shopping for food or essentials and there is a noticeboard in the supermarket, communal lobby, pharmacy or other space, please see if you can put it up. As always, please do adhere to current government guidelines on social distancing and essential travel.

If you don’t have a printer you can help by sharing the telephone number with your friends, family and colleagues or by sharing our social media posts. Our aim is to spread the word and make sure everyone who needs us can get in touch with us on 0808 196 3646 .


Community Response Volunteer

This role involves collecting shopping, medication or other essential supplies for someone who is self-isolating, and delivering these supplies to their home.


Getting you started


Community Response Plus Volunteer 

This role is for volunteers to collect and deliver shopping, medication or other essential supplies for patients with cognitive impairments and or significant vulnerabilities who are shielding.


Getting you started


Patient Transport Volunteer

This role supports the NHS by providing transport to patients who are medically fit for discharge, and ensuring that they are settled safely back in to their home.


Getting you started  


NHS Transport Volunteer

This role involves transporting equipment, supplies and/or medication between NHS services and sites, it may also involve assisting pharmacies with medication delivery.


Getting you started Delivering biological specimen kits fact sheet 


Check in and Chat volunteer

This role provides short-term telephone support to individuals who are at risk of loneliness as a consequence of self-isolation.


Getting you started


Check In and Chat Plus volunteer

This role is provided by NHS Volunteer Responders who are shielding themselves. Regular telephone support and a ‘listening ear’ is offered to individuals who are also shielding or experiencing challenges as a result of COVID-19.

Getting you started
Woman drinking a hot drink and looking at her mobile phone


Helpful resources

You might want to feel better prepared to deal with people who need particular support due to dementia, mental health or other issues. We would recommend that you take a look at the resources below.


Dementia resources

During your role you are likely to support an individual living with dementia.

Dementia Adventure

Please watch these videos from Dementia Adventure to learn more about dementia and how you can support individuals to live well.

Alzheimer's Society

To find out more about dementia visit alzheimers.org.uk

Dementia Friends - This successful programme from Alzheimer’s Society is the biggest ever initiative to change people’s perceptions of dementia. Click here and type in your unique code NHS999. You can watch at least two videos Understanding Dementia and The Bookcase Analogy to learn more about dementia and how you can help.

Food and Nutrition Advice from the British Dietetics Association 

The BDA has put together resources and information to help if you are shopping for or delivering food to vulnerable people. Many people with pre-existing conditions may require specific diets, and older people may need more energy and protein. More information will be added in the coming weeks, and please get in touch if there is something else that would be helpful:



Zero Suicide Alliance 

During your role you may be asked to support someone who is living with poor mental health, one in four people experience mental health problems each year and a friendly chat can help individuals through this difficult time.

Have a look at the 5 minute training session provided by Zero Suicide Alliance - Take the ZSA training

For more information please visit the website:



Supporting someone with sight loss

Many blind and partially sighted people will already be known to various agencies. However, not everyone’s sight loss is recorded. Guide Dogs have drawn up some advice for volunteers who could be called upon to support someone with sight loss.



Safeguarding Children

It’s your call is an NSPCC online learning course, created to help people who visit homes, to understand more about possible signs of child abuse. The NSPCC has made it available for free for you to access, so you know what to do if you see or hear something that worries you.

Access this free safeguarding course

It’s your call is one of our range of online training courses. Find out more about NSPCC online training.


Volunteer fact sheets & signposting

In order to support you in your role, we have developed some useful factsheets and a signposting document that focus on specific conditions that isolating people are living with like Dementia or Autism. Please read through these if you would like further information or want to signpost an isolating person to further support.


Autism fact sheet Dementia fact sheet Signposting fact sheetDomestic Abuse and Covid-19 fact sheet Mental Health & Wellbeing fact sheet Homelessness fact sheet Learning disabilty fact sheet Topping up for prepay customers fact sheet Helping bereaved people fact sheet Concerned about someone's wellbeing fact sheet
Volunteer fact sheets


People social distancing

Public Health England training

Get psychological first aid (PFA) online training and help people with different needs to cope with the emotional impact of COVID-19.

For more information please visit the website:



More volunteering opportunities

Being an NHS Volunteer Responder does not stop you from helping other organisations who are working hard to support the community response to COVID-19. If you're interested in providing additional support as a volunteer for another organisation, we've collated some other local opportunities that might suit you. This list will be updated as local needs change.

If you choose to sign up as a volunteer for another organisation, you will need to provide your details to that organisation and follow their own sign up process and training.

Download more volunteering opportunities


Other volunteering