Referrals can be made from the hospital, GP, Social Services, family or friends – or even a self referral.
Please try to give us 48 hours notice of discharge to give us time to contact volunteers.
This is a 24 hour service for referrals but please be aware that we normally only return your call during normal office hours (Monday to Friday).
Alternatively you can fill out our online referral form.
Want to Make a Difference to People in Your Community?
Why not Become a Welcome Home Volunteer?
How does it work?
Welcome Home provides trained volunteers to assist people who have just left or about to leave hospital and need a little bit of extra support.
Being a Welcome Home volunteer is a flexible way to volunteer and can fit around your current commitments, whilst supporting your local community.
Frequently Asked Questions
What would I be asked to do?
As a Welcome Home Volunteer you will be asked to visit a person in their own home, after they are discharged from hospital to undertake an initial check and refer them on appropriately. You could be helping anyone in your community.
What do these visits involve?
The tasks vary according to the individual’s needs, but will include; a home visit, identifying individual needs and potential risks, completing a basic checklist to return to Volunteer Cornwall, and other general help, as appropriate. As a part of your visit you may be asked to assist by making phone calls to other services or for example their GP. This includes referring to the British Red Cross for a volunteer independent visitor.
How much time do I need to commit?
The volunteering is designed to fit around your current commitments with flexible times and hours. We would prefer a commitment of a minimum of 2 hours a month or 2 visits - but can be much more. The time is up to you.
Is the volunteering only during the working week?
No. Welcome Home continues during the weekend and bank holidays if you are available and wish to volunteer at these times.
Do I get any training for this?
We will provide you with bespoke training for the role and you will need to undergo a DBS check as part of your enrolment.
How do I find out more, or enrol?
The people who we visit are very appreciative of the volunteer support that they get and are often telling us what they think about Welcome Home.
‘The lady who helped me was supportive, friendly and professional. She was immediately helpful and I cannot say enough good things about her. Thank you for the support ’
‘She amazing, uplifting, caring, listening to people and boosted my mental state of health as I felt very low from the fall, then blood clot, thankfully dispersed by HSP, but unknown before fall!’
There are many reasons why people are referred to Welcome Home and we often find that the visit will raise even more concerns. We accept most referrals – but if we are unable to help we will ensure that they are signposted to a relevant agency.
Here are some of your stories after being supported to leave hospital by Welcome Home...
Jack (not his real name) was finally being discharged from hospital after 4 months, but he had no money or food in the house. We met him and his speech and language therapist in the hospital to decide what food he could eat and what he liked in order to make a shopping list and ensure that he had some food to go home to. He barely had the inclination or energy to talk at the point, but wanted to get home as quickly as he could. His normal store was not happy to let him shop alone because of his Epilepsy and the part of his care package that had previously taken him shopping had not been arranged at this point. After making contact with the warden at his assisted housing, we arranged for him to have his shopping done, in the short term, between the housekeeper and our Welcome Home Volunteer. We also arranged for the day centre to start picking him up twice a week again, so that he could get out of the house and socialise. He has become so much more animated and healthy since going home and he actually went shopping with the volunteer yesterday he is quite a character and both the day centre and the people in his local store had missed him. The care agency was able to take over the shopping trips in the longer term, but he was able to get home sooner because of the help from Welcome Home!
Catherine (not her real name) contacted us regarding our Welcome Home Service after picking up one of our leaflets in her local hospital. After being diagnosed with a long term illness, her treatment was so intense that she felt very poorly up to three to four days after. The treatment was quite deliberating and she found that she was unable to look after herself properly, particularly when it came to eating and drinking. She wondered if we could help as she did not have a package of care and was unsure of her entitlements. As part of the Welcome Home assessment we gathered together useful information to assist her such as information from the Cornwall Care Service Directory and security protection such as a Lifeline and a key safe. With her concerns over her finances we were able to find appropriate advice regarding financial support/benefits and offered to help to complete applications. For those times when she feels too ill to cook but needs a nutritional meal we suggested the local Meals on Wheels service and also her local pub would be happy to deliver. We also provided her with contacts for the services from Macmillan and Marie Curie.
Fern (not her real name) is 94 years old and usually independent. With no family to support her, she usually manages well at home, driving to the shops and enjoying frequent holidays abroad. After a holiday in January, she collapsed at the airport and was taken to a hospital in the Midlands before being transferred to West Cornwall Hospital. She was sent home without a package of care and no other support. Our volunteer visited Fern and helped her to go about her daily activities, supporting her to be independent along the way. Fern set herself 3 goals at the start of the support, which she would have liked to achieve by the time our support had ended. These goals were to be able to walk properly again, to drive her own car and to do her own shopping again. Over the 4 weeks, with support from a volunteer, she made progress towards walking and doing her shopping but was unfortunately not medically fit enough to drive. Just over 5 weeks on and Fern is now driving again, is going to take lessons in Nordic walking (which as she says will make her very happy) and planning her next holiday.
‘Loved having your company, made me feel much better’
With funding from Cornwall Council, we are working in partnership with the British Red Cross, to recruit and train volunteers to support people recently discharged from hospital through our ‘Welcome Home’ service.
Most people discharged from hospital will have friends, neighbours or family who can help them with basic tasks like shopping and pop in to see them etc. But for some, there is no-one to provide this support and that is where ‘Welcome Home’ volunteers come in.
Welcome Home is about ensuring people recently discharged from hospital have the help and support they need to settle them back into their routines.
This goes beyond just getting them back home. We talk about loneliness and the social networks around them – Have they got friends, family or neighbours they can rely on for help and support or do they need volunteers or paid services bringing in to support them? Are they aware of, and in touch, with support groups or other community-based resources (such as Memory Cafes, Coffee Mornings, Arts & Crafts groups etc.) which provide such a vital service in combatting loneliness and isolation?
With our extensive links across Cornwall and the additional local knowledge from our volunteers we can signpost people to a diverse range of organisations and agencies to support them.
This is a free service for anyone over 18 who has been recently discharged from hospital and needs a little bit of help.
Referrals: 01872 265300 (8.30am to 5pm) or 01209 823132 (out of hours)