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Support available throughout the festive season  

Posted on December 21st, 2023



Support available throughout the festive season

This festive season, over 35,000 volunteers are ready to support those most vulnerable through the NHS and Care Volunteer Responders programme. The programme provides a range of services. Friendly chats over the phone, picking up prescriptions and more are available.

The programme is open 365 days a year, seven days a week, 8am – 8pm and is operational throughout the holiday season.

call 0808 196 3382.


What support is available?

Pick Up and Deliver – Volunteers are available to transport medication or small items of medical equipment directly to people’s homes from NHS sites or between sites. If you are a Community pharmacy, this activity is not available, as it is not covered by your liability insurance.

Check In and Chat – Volunteers provide telephone support to people who would benefit from a friendly phone call and some encouragement to improve their mental health and wellbeing. These calls can be made for a period of up to 18 weeks and will be with a different volunteer each time.

Check In and Chat Plus – Volunteers provide telephone support to people who would benefit and prefer a call with the same person over a 6 week period.

Community Response – Volunteers assist with various activities, such as collecting and delivering essential items like food shopping and prescriptions.

Connect – Volunteers support someone to take part in social activities, pastimes or hobbies in the home or in the community, such as accompanying them to the shop or playing a board game. Connect is a pilot activity currently open for referrals in Kirklees, Buckinghamshire, Birmingham and Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole.


Know someone who needs support over the festive period?

The NHS and Care Volunteer Responders programme is open for self-referral over the festive season. This means people can request support themselves, from friendly chats over the phone to food shopping and prescription deliveries. All support is available free of charge, and people don’t need to be referred by a health or care professional.

If you know someone who wants to make a self-referral, they can call our team on 0808 196 3646 (8am to 8pm, 7 days a week).

Opening Times

  • Monday
    08:30am to 06:30pm
  • Tuesday
    08:30am to 06:30pm
  • Wednesday
    08:30am to 06:30pm
  • Thursday
    08:30am to 06:30pm
  • Friday
    08:30am to 06:30pm
  • Saturday
  • Sunday
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