Guidelines for Volunteers

The basic guidelines needed to volunteer with Bay Volunteers.

  • Maintain good hand hygiene. Wash your hands when you get home from being out in public.
  • If you have any problems, questions or concerns at any point, click on 'SEND MESSAGE' in the task you've been assigned, and a member of the Bay Volunteers team will get back to you. Wait until messaging has finished before pressing 'COMPLETE THIS TASK' or 'COMPLETE AND REPEAT THIS TASK'.
  • Once a task is completed, press 'COMPLETE THIS TASK' or 'COMPLETE AND REPEAT THIS TASK'.
  • Delete contact details (phone number and address) once you no longer need them. Only keep them for a task that is reoccurring.
  • Deliveries should be left on the doorstep. After delivering, knock on the door to alert the person, then leave or move back from the door while you wait to ensure that they've picked the delivery up.
  • Avoid handling cash if possible – ideas for other ways to handle payments can be found in the FAQs below.
  • Please be respectful of people’s belongings and property. We will report anyone who abuses this voluntary position and take such abuses extremely seriously.
  • Be cheerful and make general conversation.
  • Think beforehand about suggestions you can make of things they can do to keep them occupied.
  • Make sure that you listen more than you speak, ask them lots of questions; don’t just speak about your own life but take the time to really listen.
  • Do not make over-commitments and promises that are unrealistic, do not commit to anything that involves physical contact with people.
  • Never promise confidentiality; if you need to pass information on, please 'SEND MESSAGE' to Bay Volunteers within the task or pass information onto the relevant authority.
  • If you are concerned about someone’s health, encourage them to check the advice at http://www.nhs.uk or phone 111.
  • Contact the patient on the day of the appointment to confirm details and times.
  • Minimize contact with the patient, ask them to sit in the back (where possible) and have ventilation in the car (where possible).
  • Wait for the patient for when they have finished their appointment.
  • Return the patient to their address as per the inbound journey.
  • Contact Bay Volunteers in case of any issues and 999 in the case of an emergency.
  • Make contact with the service user to clarify the support required and to arrange a day and time to visit.
  • On the arranged day and at the arranged time, the volunteer will go to the service user’s home and help them with their digital need, e.g. to download and use the relevant NHS App(s).
  • Check with the service user if they are happy with what you have done for/with them or shown them, or whether they would like another session to be arranged in a week or months’ time (or whenever is appropriate).

Volunteer FAQs ❓

General questions 📝

1) In most cases, the first thing to do is phone the service user to confirm the details of the task.

2) You may need to agree a time for you to collect or deliver items, and make arrangements for payment.

3) When you have completed the task, press 'COMPLETE THIS TASK' or 'COMPLETE AND REPEAT THIS TASK' within the task.

4) If you have any problems, questions or concerns at any point, click on 'SEND MESSAGE' in the task you've been assigned, and a member of the Bay Volunteers team will get back to you. Wait until messaging has finished before pressing 'COMPLETE THIS TASK' or 'COMPLETE AND REPEAT THIS TASK'.

We recommend giving your first name only, and make it clear that you are calling on behalf of Bay Volunteers, then give whatever information you know about the task, e.g. ‘I understand you would like help getting some shopping’, then ask how you can help.

Dial 141 then dial the number you want to call to stop your number being displayed on that individual call. This works on a call-by-call basis, so you must do it for each call for which you want to hide your number. Your phone may well have a setting to turn this on permanently if you'd prefer that. This should work for both mobile phones and landlines.

Note that Bay Volunteers doesn't require you to do this, but we recommend it if possible.

If there is a problem or query related to the task, click on 'SEND MESSAGE' in the task you've been assigned about the problem, giving as much detail as possible, and a member of the Bay Volunteers team will get back to you. Wait until messaging has finished before pressing 'COMPLETE THIS TASK' or 'COMPLETE AND REPEAT THIS TASK'. If your query is simple to deal with, we just message you back with the answer. If there is something more complicated that needs resolving or you need more support, we may phone you to discuss the issue further, or possibly take the task off your hands for us to resolve. You can also 'SEND MESSAGE' within a task to ask for someone to phone you if the problem is more serious or urgent, or you can't summarise it easily in a written message. We will then get someone to phone you as soon as we can.
Once a task is completed, click 'COMPLETE THIS TASK' or 'COMPLETE AND REPEAT THIS TASK' (for reoccurring tasks).

Handling payments 💷

First of all, see if there’s a way to enable the service user to pay themselves.

  • 🛒 If you are doing shopping for someone, several shops and supermarkets can take payment over the phone or have other systems to allow people to pay for shopping that someone else is collecting (check with them first if possible to make sure). See the ‘Collecting shopping’ section below for more information.
  • 💊 If you are collecting a prescription, check first whether the person is exempt from paying. If you do need to pay, some pharmacies will take payment over the phone, so ask about this.

If it's not possible to arrange for the service user to pay directly, you may need make the payment yourself and have them pay you back afterwards.

  • As a volunteer you need to pay for the items initially (please don't ask for payment up front).
  • There is a small risk involved in relying on being paid back, so try to avoid expensive orders.
  • If possible, have them pay you back via bank transfer or get them to give you a cheque, with cash being a last resort, which is particularly popular for older people.
  • Please do NOT take someone's credit or debit card to make a payment on their behalf.

Try and return the money if possible, or refuse deliberate over-payments. Use your common sense - if this is a few pence because you don't have change that's fine. Anything more substantial needs to be dealt with more carefully. Please contact the Bay Volunteers Manager at bayvolunteersmanager@hopelancaster.co.uk, who can advise you on how to proceed. Even if you plan to re-use it, e.g. to buy shopping for another request where the person can't afford it, you should let us know for accountability and to protect yourself from any potential allegations.

Hope Church can collect money on behalf of the Bay Volunteers. This money will be ringfenced to only be used for the costs associated with running Bay Volunteers, and any surplus passed on to The Olive Branch food bank. Please email bayvolunteersmanager@hopelancaster.co.uk for details on how to make or pass on a donation.

Collecting shopping 🛒

There are a few different options here:

1) Help the person connect with a local shop that is able to take orders and payment by phone, and ideally deliver for them (e.g. some Londis stores).

2) As above, but they may need someone to go and collect the shopping.

3) Go shopping for them, then get the shop to phone and take payment - check that the supermarket or shop does this first before going.

4) Go shopping for them, where Volunteer shopping card schemes are also in place, e.g. at M & S and ASDA. You may want to familiarise yourself with these schemes and suggest as an option. This might work best for people who are tech-savvy enough to order one of these and either print it out for your or email it to you.

5) Go shopping for them and receive payment via bank transfer, or in cash or by cheque on return with the shopping, which is a common preference for older people. (Try to avoid expensive orders where you rely on cash being paid back.)

There is no obligation to undertake a regular commitment. If you wish to do so and are happy to exchange your contact details with them to make this possible, you are free to do so.

Otherwise please simply inform them that you're not able to make that commitment, but that you will put the task back on the Bay Volunteers 'New Tasks' board for another volunteer to pick up. (To do this, make sure that you please 'COMPLETE AND REPEAT THIS TASK', as the person still needs help, setting the next date and time that it needs completing. After this, please 'SEND MESSAGE' within the task and let us know that you're unable to complete this task on a regular basis. Finally, press 'I CAN'T COMPLETE THIS TASK - DELETE' and it will go onto the 'New Tasks' board.)

If you do offer to help on a more regular basis, but then are unable to continue doing so at a certain point, please set the next task and then send it back to the 'New Tasks' board. (To do this, make sure that you please 'COMPLETE AND REPEAT THIS TASK', as the person still needs help, setting the next date and time that it needs completing. After this, please 'SEND MESSAGE' within the task and let us know that you're unable to complete this task on a regular basis. Finally, press 'I CAN'T COMPLETE THIS TASK - DELETE' and it will go onto the 'New Tasks' board.)

Collecting prescriptions or medication 💊

You can collect a paper prescription from a GP surgery for someone if they've told the surgery they're happy for you to collect it. You will usually be asked to confirm the name and address of the person you're collecting the prescription for, so make sure you get this information. You should also take your ID with you to the surgery.

You can then take the paper prescription to a pharmacy to collect the medicine. However, the patient must have completed part 1 of the prescription form (FP10) and you (the person collecting the medicine) must complete parts 2 and 3.

You will need to be able to confirm the name and address of the person you are collecting this for, so make sure you know this information. It is also helpful to confirm how many items you are collecting, as the pharmacist will often check this with you. You should also check whether the prescription will need paying for.

  • There are many people who are exempt from prescription charges including anyone over the age of 60. See this page on the NHS website for more information. If in doubt, it's worth checking with the person you are collecting it for before you go to the pharmacy.
  • The pharmacist will check the back of the FP10 form to make sure it's signed and the appropriate category is ticked if the person is exempt from paying charges, and that you're acting on their behalf and have their permission.
  • If a patient has to pay prescription charges, you'll need to make arrangements for payment; see the 'Handling Payments' section above.

Controlled medicines include morphine, pethidine and methadone, among others. These types of medicines are sometimes misused so they have stricter legal controls on their supply. For this reason we would suggest that anyone who needs this type of medication regularly, signs up with Pharmacy2u at www.pharmacy2u.co.uk (see the next question for more information).

If this is not possible, or if a patient has no other option than to ask a volunteer to collect a "controlled medicine" for them, then the patient must phone their pharmacy in advance to explain who will be collecting their medication. When the volunteer collects the medicine, the pharmacist will request proof of identity from the volunteer, before releasing the paper prescription and/or medication. The pharmacist may also phone the patient for further verification.

Pharmacy2u (https://www.pharmacy2u.co.uk/) is an online pharmacy that allows you to order your medicines from your computer, tablet or smartphone, and have them posted to your home free of charge.

When someone signs up, they will be asked to enter their personal details, including their address, GP surgery and debit card details. They can then add their medicines to their account, and request repeat prescriptions on the Pharmacy2u website. The medicines will be posted straight to their home, with no charge for delivery, and they usually take 5-10 days to arrive.

The is an option you could recommend to people who need regular prescriptions collecting, especially if this includes controlled medicine(s). If you or someone you're helping need help setting up an account with Pharmacy2u please ask, and someone from the Bay Volunteers team will be able to help you over the phone.

Listening calls/walks 💬

We are offering this service to provide extra support and a listening ear especially to those who might be affected by loneliness and isolation. We are not able to provide health advice, counselling or other professional support - even if you have professional qualifications in some of these areas, could you please respect this and direct callers via NHS or other suitable channels as Bay Volunteers could be held responsible for the consequences of any advice given. A lot of people are lonely due to self-isolation and just want a friendly chat, but other people (and even some conversations that begin as simple chats) may wish to discuss deeper issues like loneliness, depression, family or financial problems, bereavement, worries about their loved ones, fears about their health and well-being. Some people might require specific information and signposting – if you feel that you are not able to provide this yourself, make it clear to the service user and pass the task up to the Bay Volunteers team by pressing on 'SEND MESSAGE' within the task, who may be able to refer the person to an appropriate organisation.

The main purpose is to provide a listening ear, we need to be clear that we are not able to provide a solution to their personal problems but show that we care and show each person that they matter.

We are not trained 'listeners' or counsellors but some useful tips and principles include:

  • being sensitive and empathetic: attempting to see the situation from the caller’s perspective
  • being non-judgemental: respect radically different views
  • being non-directive: not provide any advice on personal issues but provide caller space to talk through their concerns, which in itself can lead them to better clarity
  • using open questions starting with How, Why, What helps with a conversation to explore some of their concerns
  • some people might be happy just to chat while others might find it more difficult or become upset; you can acknowledge silence by saying things like “just take your time” or “I’m listening” and “I feel this is really difficult for you".

We would encourage you to keep your anonymity. When calling, introduce yourself by your first name, but it might be advisable not to disclose too much personal information – remember the main focus should be on the service user and finding out about them, letting them speak.

The content of your conversations should remain confidential, though you should never promise total confidentiality in case you come across issues that will require you to pass some information on to others.

If you come across issues that you feel are beyond your competence or require specialist input, such as imminent suicidal tendency, you might want to clarify – for example, by asking “Are you saying that you are thinking about killing yourself?” and also explain your responsibility to call for an ambulance if you identify somebody in immediate danger and they disclose their location to you.

You should also feedback to the Bay Volunteers team if you have had calls that you found difficult or concerning, so we are able to support. In cases like these, send a message asking for someone to phone you through the task by pressing on 'SEND MESSAGE' and a member of the team will call you as soon as is possible.

Please discontinue any phone calls or walk and chats that become abusive, inappropriate or manipulative in any way, and please report this to the Bay Volunteers Manager, Matt Parker (bayvolunteersmanager@hopelancaster.co.uk) straight away. Your well-being is important to us and any abuse of this service is not acceptable.

If this is the case you have two options:

1) If you are willing and able you can fulfil this request yourself (there is no obligation for this). then you can press 'COMPLETE AND REPEAT THIS TASK' within the task as usual. Then in the task that you have just created (in your 'Assigned' section), press 'SEND MESSAGE' and tell us what is required of this task now so that we can update it in case another volunteer takes this up in the future.

2) If you are not able to fulfil that other part of the task that has come to light and would prefer that another volunteer took up that task, please let the service user know that you are unable to fulfil this and that you will be putting a new task on the board for this which hopefully a volunteer with pick up soon. (To do this, make sure that you please 'COMPLETE AND REPEAT THIS TASK', as the person still needs help, setting the next date and time that it needs completing. After this, please 'SEND MESSAGE' within the task and let us know that you're unable to complete this task on a regular basis. Finally, press 'I CAN'T COMPLETE THIS TASK - DELETE' and it will go onto the 'New Tasks' board.)

You are under no obligation to do this. If you would like to offer a follow up call or walk and chat, or regular chats you are welcome to, but try to plan how much support you are able to give ahead of your phone call/meeting them and also think about your own well-being. Let the Bay Volunteers team know if a one-off task has turned into reoccurring support like this. If for any reason your situation changes and you are not able to continue, let the Bay Volunteers team know by pressing 'SEND MESSAGE' and letting us know why, before pressing 'I CAN'T COMPLETE THIS TASK' so the task can be picked up by another volunteer. If you’d rather not commit to further calls, make sure they know that they are welcome to submit further tasks to Bay Volunteers and check that they know how to do this.

Patient Transport 🚗

We are offering this service to provide patient transport for those who are unable to access a lift from family or friends, public transport or to afford a taxi. This task will only be given from a direct referral through doctors surgeries or the integrated care community.

You must call the patient on the day of the appointment to let them know that you will be coming and to confirm the details and times.

For this task, please arrive at the patient's address in good time. Ask the patient if they would please sit in the back of your car and minimize contact with them. Please also provide ventilation (where possible).

Whilst waiting for the patient to attend their appointment, please wait outside for them ready to take them back to their address after.

Please return the patient to their address in the same way that you brought them to their appointment.
Once you have finished this task, press 'COMPLETE THIS TASK', or if it is a reoccurring task and you are happy to fulfil this, press 'COMPLETE AND REPEAT THIS TASK'.
You are under no obligation to do the task on a reoccurring basis. If you would like to offer to do this task on a reoccurring basis, please inform the patient and then press 'COMPLETE AND REPEAT THIS TASK' within the task, rather than just 'COMPLETE THIS TASK'. If you would prefer not to do this on a reoccurring basis but have completed the task this time, please press 'COMPLETE AND REPEAT THIS TASK', setting the next date and time that it is needed. Then go back into your assigned task that you have just made and press' SEND MESSAGE' to let us know you can't do this on a reoccurring basis and then press 'I CAN'T COMPLETE THIS TASK - DELETE'.
If you had a problem completing this task, please press 'SEND MESSAGE' within the task to communicate with one of the Bay Volunteers team. Only then press 'COMPLETE THIS TASK' or 'COMPLETE AND REPEAT THIS TASK' (for a reoccurring task) once you have finished messaging one of the Bay Volunteers team about the issue. In the case of an emergency, please contact 999.

Digital Buddy 📱

We are offering this service to provide digital support for those who are unable to access support from others or get to any sort of digital training themselves in-person.

You should make contact with the service user to clarify the support required and to arrange a day and time to visit.

For this task, on the arranged day and at the arranged time, you will go to the service user’s home and support them with their digital need, e.g. to download and use the relevant NHS App(s). Whilst with the service user, you should check with the service user if they are happy with what you have done for/with them or shown them, or whether they would like another session to be arranged in a week or months’ time (or whenever is appropriate).

Here is the detailed step-by-step guidance for how to set up the NHS App for someone.

Once you have finished this task, press 'COMPLETE THIS TASK', or if the service user has requested another visit for digital support from yourself and you are happy to fulfil this, it is classed as a reoccurring task, so please press 'COMPLETE AND REPEAT THIS TASK'.

You are under no obligation to do the task on a reoccurring basis. If you would like to offer to do this task on a reoccurring basis for as many sessions as they require, please inform the service user and then press 'COMPLETE AND REPEAT THIS TASK' within the task, rather than just 'COMPLETE THIS TASK'.
If you would prefer not to do this on a reoccurring basis but have completed the task this time, please press 'COMPLETE AND REPEAT THIS TASK', setting the next date and time that it is needed. Then go back into your assigned task that you have just made and press' SEND MESSAGE' to let us know you can't do this on a reoccurring basis and then press 'I CAN'T COMPLETE THIS TASK - DELETE'.

If you had a problem completing this task, please press 'SEND MESSAGE' within the task to communicate with one of the Bay Volunteers team. Only then press 'COMPLETE THIS TASK' or 'COMPLETE AND REPEAT THIS TASK' (for a reoccurring task) once you have finished messaging one of the Bay Volunteers team about the issue.
In the case of an emergency, please contact 999.

Specific Questions ❓

We recommend giving your first name only, and making it clear that you are calling on behalf of Bay Volunteers, then give whatever information you know about the task e.g. 'I understand you would like help getting some shopping', then ask how you can help.

If you use your mobile you can use code 141 prior dialling the caller number so your number remains to withhold (though this might not always be possible as some people have their lines set up not to accept withhold numbers). If you use your landline you might want to check with your telephone line provider.

There are a few different options here:

1) Help the person connect with a local shop that is able to take orders and payment by phone, and ideally deliver for them (e.g. some Londis stores).

2) As above, but they may need someone to go and collect the shopping.

3) Go shopping for them, then get the shop to phone and take payment - check that the supermarket or shop does this first before going.

4) Go shopping for them, where Volunteer shopping card schemes are also in place, e.g. at M & S and ASDA. You may want to familiarise yourself with these schemes and suggest as an option. This might work best for people who are tech-savvy enough to order one of these and either print it out for your or email it to you.

5) Go shopping for them and receive payment via bank transfer, or in cash or by cheque on return with the shopping, which is a common preference for older people. (Try to avoid expensive orders where you rely on cash being paid back.)

There is no obligation to undertake a regular commitment. If you wish to do so and are happy to exchange your contact details with them to make this possible, you are free to do so.

Otherwise please simply inform them that you're not able to make that commitment, but that you will put the task back on the Bay Volunteers 'New Tasks' board for another volunteer to pick up. (To do this, make sure that you please 'COMPLETE AND REPEAT THIS TASK', as the person still needs help, setting the next date and time that it needs completing. After this, please 'SEND MESSAGE' within the task and let us know that you're unable to complete this task on a regular basis. Finally, press 'I CAN'T COMPLETE THIS TASK - DELETE' and it will go onto the 'New Tasks' board.)

If you do offer to help on a more regular basis, but then are unable to continue doing so at a certain point, please set the next task and then send it back to the 'New Tasks' board. (To do this, make sure that you please 'COMPLETE AND REPEAT THIS TASK', as the person still needs help, setting the next date and time that it needs completing. After this, please 'SEND MESSAGE' within the task and let us know that you're unable to complete this task on a regular basis. Finally, press 'I CAN'T COMPLETE THIS TASK - DELETE' and it will go onto the 'New Tasks' board.)

1) Ask the service user whether they need to pay for their Egg Cup parcel or not? (Look at 'Handling Payments' if it needs paying for, usually £5.)

2) Ask the service user if there are any food that they particularly want/like or things that they don't like in their parcel.

3) Take carrier bags with you to Egg Cup to put the food into.

Digital buddy tasks (which will usually be one-offs or only need doing a couple of times) give a wide range of possible tasks that might need fulfilling to support people. These tasks can be anything from helping someone to download and use the NHS App to supporting someone in setting up and using an email account, and everything in between. You will be able to look at the specifics of the task (which you would clarify with the service user before going to see them) to know if you think the task is something you could do.

When you have arranged a day and time to go and support someone digitally, you will go to their house and will help them at their property (most likely on the door step). 

They may require help just once, or it may be two or three times. We don't expect these tasks to be reoccurring every week for a long period of time unless a different kind of support is also needed, but you are under no obligation to give that support if you would prefer not to or are unable to.

We are offering this service to provide extra support and listening ear especially to those that might be affected by loneliness and isolation. We are not able to provide health advice, counselling or other professional support - even if you have professional qualifications in some of these areas, could you please respect this and direct service users via NHS channels etc. as Bay Volunteers could be held responsible for the consequences of any advice given.

We expect that people might use these lines to discuss multiple issues like loneliness, depression, family or financial problems, bereavement, worries about their loved ones, fears about their health and well-being, etc.

Some people might require specific information and signposting. If you feel that not able to provide this yourself, make it clear to the service user and offer to make contact with the Bay Volunteers Administrators or Manager, Matt Parker, who will help to give advice/signpost.

The main purpose is to provide a listening ear, we need to be clear that we are not able to provide a solution to their personal problems but show that we care and show each person that they matter. We are not trained 'listeners' or counsellors but some useful tips and principles may include: being sensitive, empathetic (attempting to see the situation from the service user's perspective), being non-judgemental (respect radically different views) and non-directive (not to provide any advice on personal issues but provide for space for them to talk through their concerns - that in itself can lead them to better clarity).

Using open questions starting with 'How', 'Why'; 'What' helps with a conversation to explore some of their concerns. Some people might be happy just to chat while others might find it more difficult or become upset - you can acknowledge silence "just take your time" or "I'm' listening" and "I feel this is really difficult for you".

We would encourage you to keep your anonymity. When speaking to them, you might want to introduce yourself by your first name but might be advisable not to disclose too much personal information - remember the main focus should be on the service user and to find out about them, letting them speak.

The content of your conversations should remain confidential though you should never promise total confidentiality in case coming across issues that will require you to pass some information to others. If you come across issues that you feel are beyond your competence or require specialist input, for example, imminent suicidal tendency, you might want to clarify. For example, "Are you saying that you are thinking about killing yourself?" and also explain your responsibility to call for an ambulance if you identify somebody in immediate danger and they disclose their location to you. You should also feedback to the Bay Volunteers administrators or Manager, Matt Parker, if you come across conversations that you found difficult or concerning so support can be given to you.

Please discontinue any listening calls/walks that become abusive/inappropriate or manipulative in any way and please report to the Bay Volunteers Administrators or Manager, Matt Parker (bayvolunteersmanager@hopelancaster.co.uk), straightaway - your well-being is important to us and any abuse of this service is not acceptable.

If this is the case you have two options:

1) If you are willing and able you can fulfil this request yourself (there is no obligation for this). then you can press 'COMPLETE AND REPEAT THIS TASK' within the task as usual. Then in the task that you have just created (in your 'Assigned' section), press 'SEND MESSAGE' and tell us what is required of this task now so that we can update it in case another volunteer takes this up in the future.

2) If you are not able to fulfil that other part of the task that has come to light and would prefer that another volunteer took up that task, please let the service user know that you are unable to fulfil this and that you will be putting a new task on the board for this which hopefully a volunteer with pick up soon. (To do this, make sure that you please 'COMPLETE AND REPEAT THIS TASK', as the person still needs help, setting the next date and time that it needs completing. After this, please 'SEND MESSAGE' within the task and let us know that you're unable to complete this task on a regular basis. Finally, press 'I CAN'T COMPLETE THIS TASK - DELETE' and it will go onto the 'New Tasks' board.)

You are under no obligation to do this.

If you would like to offer a follow up call/walk, or regular chats/walks you are welcome to, but try to plan how much support you are able to give ahead of initial 'making contact' phone call and also think about your wellbeing. If for any reason your situation changes and you are not able to follow up arrangements, please inform Bay Volunteers Administrators or Manager, Matt Parker, by sending the task back to the 'New Tasks' board. (To do this, make sure that you please 'COMPLETE AND REPEAT THIS TASK', as the person still needs help, setting the next date and time that it needs completing. After this, please 'SEND MESSAGE' within the task and let us know that you're unable to complete this task on a regular basis. Finally, press 'I CAN'T COMPLETE THIS TASK - DELETE' and it will go onto the 'New Tasks' board.)

If you'd rather not commit to further calls, please inform Bay Volunteers Administrators or Manager, Matt Parker, by sending the task back to the 'New Tasks' board. (To do this, make sure that you please 'COMPLETE AND REPEAT THIS TASK', as the person still needs help, setting the next date and time that it needs completing. After this, please 'SEND MESSAGE' within the task and let us know that you're unable to complete this task on a regular basis. Finally, press 'I CAN'T COMPLETE THIS TASK - DELETE' and it will go onto the 'New Tasks' board.)

Volunteers can collect a paper prescription from a GP surgery for someone, if that person has told the surgery they're happy for you to collect it. You'll usually be asked to confirm the name and address of the person you're collecting the prescription for, so volunteers will need to ensure that they obtain this information. Volunteers should also take their I.D. with them to the surgery/pharmacy.

Volunteers can then take a paper prescription to a pharmacy to collect someone else's medicine for them. However, the patient must have completed part 1 of the prescription form (FP10) and the person collecting the medicine must complete parts 2 and 3.

You will need to be able to confirm the name and address of the person you are collecting this for, so make sure you know this information. It is also helpful to confirm how many items you are collecting, as the pharmacist will often check this with you. It is worth checking whether the prescription will need paying for.

There are many people who are exempt from prescription charges including anyone over the age of 60. Go to: https://www.nhs.uk/using-the-nhs/help-with-health-costs/get-help-with-prescription-costs/

If in doubt, it is worth checking with the person you are collecting it for, before you go to the pharmacy.

If a patient has to pay prescription charges, a means of payment/reimbursement needs to be arranged between the volunteer and the patient. The pharmacist will check the back of the FP10 form to make sure it's signed and the appropriate category is ticked if the person is exempt from paying charges, and you're acting on their behalf and have their permission.

Controlled medicines include morphine, pethidine and methadone, amongst others. These types of medicines are sometimes misused so they have stricter legal controls on their supply. For this reason, we would suggest that anyone who needs this type of medication regularly, signs up with Pharmacy2u, which can be done here: http://www.pharmacy2u.co.uk/

If this is not possible, or if a patient has no other option than to ask a volunteer to collect a "controlled medicine" for them, then the patient must phone their pharmacy in advance, to explain who will be collecting their medication. When the volunteer collects the medicine, the pharmacist will request proof of identity from the volunteer before releasing the paper prescription and/or medication. The pharmacist may also phone the patient for further verification.

Pharmacy2u (http://www.pharmacy2u.co.uk/) is an online pharmacy that allows you to order your medicines from your computer, tablet or smartphone, and have them posted to your home free of charge.

When a patient signs up, they will be asked to enter their personal details, including their address, GP surgery and debit card details. They can then add their medicines to their account, and request repeat prescriptions on the Pharmacy2u website. Their medicines will be posted straight to their home, with no charge for delivery, and they usually take 5-10 days to arrive.

If you need help with setting up an account for a patient with Pharmacy2u, please ask and someone will be able to help you over the phone.

If there is a problem or query related to the task, press 'SEND MESSAGE' within the task giving details to summarise the problem. If this is straight forward to help with, you will receive a reply by message within the task. If there is something more complicated that needs resolving or that you need support with, the Bay Volunteers Administrators or Manager, Matt Parker, will give you a call to provide advice of further support which may involve signposting the service user.

Once the task is complete, press 'COMPLETE THIS TASK', or 'COMPLETE AND REPEAT THIS TASK' (for a reoccurring task).