NHS Volunteer Responders

Volunteer Responders has been set up to support the NHS and the social care sector during the COVID-19 pandemic. To do this we need an 'army' of volunteers who can support vulnerable people in England who are at most risk from the virus to stay well. Our doctors, nurses, those working in local authorities and other professionals, will be able to refer people in to NHS Volunteer Responders and be confident that they have been matched with a reliable, named volunteer.

You can help by signing up for one or more of the roles listed below. Once you have registered and checks are complete you will be provided a log-in to the GoodSAM Responder app. Switch the app to 'on duty', and you'll see live and local volunteer tasks to pick from nearby. Please ensure you have a smartphone as you will be unable to receive alerts without the app.

Key Information

  • This programme is only open to Volunteers/Referrers in England.
  • Volunteers must be 18 or over, and fit and well with no symptoms. Those in higher-risk groups will be able to offer support over the telephone by becoming a Check in and Chat volunteer. Please see the following guidance if you are unsure whether you are in a high risk category: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/people-at-higher-risk/whos-at-higher-risk-from-coronavirus
  • Your safety is our priority. The majority of tasks can be undertaken while social distancing and volunteers will receive guidance through our 'Getting You Started' Guides.
  • Certain roles require an existing DBS certificate, please check the role information prior to applying.


Referrals can be made by Health and local government professionals and pre-approved VCSE organisations. These are:

  • General Practitioners
  • Social prescribing link workers / Practice nurses
  • Hospital discharge teams
  • Community pharmacists
  • NHS 111 and ambulance trusts
  • Local authorities
  • Community health trusts that need volunteer support for patients leaving hospital
  • Pre-approved VCSE organisations
If you are a Health or local government professional you can make a referral here.

Self-referrals from isolated individuals can also be made by calling our Support Team on 0808 196 3646.

Here are the ways you can support:

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. A DBS is not required for this role.
Community Response PLUS Volunteer: This role provides the same type of support as the standard role, however, it supports individuals who have been identified by referrers as living with a significant vulnerability. An enhanced DBS check with barred list is required for this role.

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. A DBS is not required for this role.
Check-in and Chat PLUS Volunteer:This role provides a regular check-in by telephone support to the same individual for a duration of 4 weeks, with 3 calls taking place each week. An enhanced DBS check is required for this role.

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. A DBS is not required for this role.

Patient Transport volunteer:This role supports the NHS by providing transport to patients who are medically fit for discharge or to transport patients to medical appointments. An enhanced DBS check with barred list is required for this role.