What are PGNS Support Volunteers?
A PGNS Support Volunteer provides a modest degree of practical help on a weekly basis, collecting shopping and prescriptions for a vulnerable Plymouth resident and making time for a friendly chat with them.
Each volunteer is matched to a particular resident to provide a degree of continuity for the resident and to help develop a relationship of trust.
The resident may not have local family, friends or a community network to support them and may already be in receipt of a domiciliary care package through Social Services.
PGNS Support Volunteers operate within the City Council’s Plymouth Good Neighbours Scheme (PGNS). PGNS was originally set up to support the mobilisation of Plymouth’s voluntary, community and social enterprise sectors, empowering residents, businesses and wider stakeholders to play a key role in safeguarding those most at risk during the Covid-19 pandemic.
PGNS continues to provide a central hub for many voluntary groups across the city whose work is supported by the kindness and generosity of local people volunteering their time.
What does the role involve?
In this role a volunteer is expected to:
Call at their designated resident’s front door on a weekly basis to pick up a shopping list from the resident (food, household basics, everyday items), then collect the shopping from local shops and deliver it back to the resident.
If requested, help the resident put the shopping away, but only if safe to do so and by prior arrangement with the volunteer, in light of the current Covid-19 pandemic.
Collect prescriptions for the resident from a local pharmacy, if requested
Post a letter or parcel for the resident, if requested
Briefly liaise with PGNS after each visit and report any concerns about a resident or about their volunteering.
Volunteers are not expected to pay for the resident’s shopping in advance.
Your induction session before you start will cover how shopping will be paid for.
Your resident may enjoy and look forward to a chat on the doorstep with you (or inside their home once it is safe to do so, in light of the current pandemic). Volunteers are asked to allow time for a chat should the resident wish for it.
Tasks not expected of you as a volunteer.
Volunteers are not permitted to do any of the following activities and should not be asked or expected to do them:
Personal or nursing care (eg washing and personal hygiene, lifting, moving or feeding the resident, helping the resident to use the toilet, administration of medication and similar)
Laundry, housework or preparation of meals
Offer financial, legal or health advice.
Please note volunteers are asked not to accompany the resident beyond the resident’s home.
Would this role suit you?
No formal qualifications are required for this role. However, to carry out this role well and to enjoy the role you’ll need to:
Be aged 18 or over
Display a warm and friendly disposition,
Have a positive outlook
Be reliable, dependable, honest and trustworthy
Have a couple of hours free around the same time each week
Be non discriminatory
Maintain confidentiality around all details of the resident
Why volunteer in this role?
By volunteering as a PGNS Support Volunteer you will be helping a vulnerable Plymouth resident to get the shopping/prescriptions they need on a weekly basis and provide a friendly ear on a weekly basis. You’re giving not only practical assistance but are also helping to lessen any sense of isolation or loneliness and helping the resident to feel more connected with their community.
You’ll be putting to good use, and developing, your skills and experience.
Training and ongoing support.
Prior to the start of your volunteering you will receive an induction and training session to include the following: safeguarding; confidentiality and data protection; your own safety and wellbeing as a volunteer; extra safety precautions during the Covid-19 pandemic.
You will be supported by the PGNS volunteer team throughout your volunteering.
It is anticipated that there will be the opportunity for further training in due course, for those volunteers who would like it, around dementia awareness, mental health and other relevant areas.
Initial trial period.
Your first two or three calls on a resident will be by way of a trial period to check that both you and the resident are happy to continue the arrangement. Please be assured that you’re free to end your volunteering at any time.
Your personal contact information.
Volunteers should not share personal contact details with residents.
If you can’t make a visit If, for any reason, you’re not able to make a pre arranged visit then please, if possible, just let the PGNS volunteer team know and they will make alternative arrangements for the resident.
You may claim reimbursement for pre agreed out of pocket expenses such as travel to your place of volunteering.
PGNS will carry out an Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) against all Support Volunteers at no cost to the volunteer.
As a volunteer you are of course free to stop volunteering at any time.
You will be given a clear point of contact for all aspects of your volunteering including for any feedback, suggestions or concerns.
This volunteering role is covered by the Plymouth Good Neighbours Scheme Code of Conduct which can be found HERE.