Check In & Chat with an NHS Volunteer Responder

NHS Volunteer Care Responders - Check In & Chat programme

Check In and Chat is a free service connecting individuals with compassionate and friendly volunteers for encouraging and supportive phone calls.

Returning home after a hospital stay can be a relief, but for those without a support system, it can be overwhelming. That’s why NHS and Care Volunteer Responders is encouraging patients discharged from hospital to request Check In and Chat calls to support their recovery journey.

Spearheading the scheme is the Royal Voluntary Service and the NHS Volunteer Responders. Director of the Royal Voluntary Service, Fiona Longhurst caught up with Radio Horton’s Sam Smette to explain why the service is so vital and how it is helping in a patient’s recovery journey. You can listen back to the interview below:

Whether someone is recovering from illness or injury, getting back on their feet after surgery, or simply in need of a listening ear and friendly chat, dedicated volunteers are here to provide support and encouragement to help patients on their road to recovery and beyond.

These heartwarming calls can make all the difference to patients following a hospital stay, helping to restore self-confidence, encouraging them along their recovery journey, and offering a connection to brighten their day.

54-year-old David has been facing the challenges of living with a chronic illness that has left him isolated and housebound. As his condition progressed, David found himself lacking social interaction and struggling with feelings of loneliness. After seeing an advertisement for Check In and Chat calls on Facebook, David self-referred and has been receiving regular phone calls since. For David, these calls are a lifeline that brighten his day and provide him with much-needed socialisation.

David said: “I can’t express how grateful I am for the volunteer phone calls I receive. Being largely housebound and living with a chronic illness can make you feel so isolated, and it’s easy to fall into a state of loneliness. These phone calls have truly become the high point of my day.”

“I look forward to every call, all the volunteers who reach out to me are amazing individuals. Having someone on the other end of the line to speak to makes such a difference.

“Without these calls, my days would be much more difficult and lonelier. I am forever grateful to the volunteers who selflessly give their time to make a difference in the lives of others.”

Sam Ward, Deputy CEO of Royal Voluntary Service said: “Staying connected through Check in and Chat calls can make a positive impact on your recovery journey. Volunteers are there to support and motivate you every step of the way, so you can overcome any challenges and work towards a better, healthier future.”

“Conversations can create connections, offer new perspectives, teach you new things, boost happiness, and increase mental wellbeing.”

Receiving a Check In and Chat call is easy and completely free. Calls can be organised by phoning 0808 196 3646 for free (available 8am to 8pm, 7 days a week) or by visiting the website.

The programme is designed to accommodate the needs of each patient, allowing them to choose the frequency of their calls over a six-week period, whether it’s a one-off chat or more regular check ins.

Health and care providers are also able to request Check In and Chat on behalf of socially isolated patients or those who would benefit from a friendly chat and extra encouragement.

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