During the pandemic there had been an unprecedented demand on Care Home staff, which has been compounded with the inability to recruit sufficient staff to ensure that it is safe to admit to empty beds. 

The NHS in Cornwall cannot function if its social care partners are facing such challenging times and have therefore proposed to set up a volunteer organisation.

CareNow has been created as a single point of access where people who are volunteering specifically to work in a care home can volunteer, can receive training and be deployed to care homes across The Duchy.

Mission & Values

Our vision is to help and support our providers of care across Cornwall

Our mission is to enable volunteers into this sector to make a difference, putting the health and wellbeing of residents and older people at the heart of care.

We hope to provide opportunities to individuals to engage in various Care Home related activities, where they can offer their skills and time to build strong relationships with the residents, bringing the community into the care home. You will have the opportunity to take on a challenge and learn new skills, meet people and make a difference.

Meet the team

Andrew Blight

Volunteer Service Manager

Andrew has worked in the Care Sector since 2021, originally starting out as Head of the Project Management Office. Andrew wanted to introduce projects that would help the sector work more efficiently. The Volunteer Scheme was a project that needed to be mobilised and brought to life, Andrew took on the role and is now their Volunteer Service Manager.

what we do

CareNow recruits and provides volunteers to support the residents; with a wide range of opportunities from encouragement with activities, spending time chatting over a cup of tea, playing a game or helping in the garden. A volunteer can bring the community to the residents and those much need extra hours in the day to the Carers.

In parallel we are working with the Care Providers, the care homes, to identify the volunteering opportunities and continually improve the experience.

We understand how critical the care is that our Carers provide and we don’t want our volunteers getting in the way, think of it as an extra pair of hands, bringing an extra hour in the day.

Training is available, please see the training section, this will very much depend on the volunteering opportunity the individual and what training is required. Volunteers will be inducted and will be under the guidance of the Care Home where they volunteer and will need to follow their policies e.g. Health & Safety and Safeguarding.

In parallel we are working with Care providers to identify and register any particular volunteering opportunities they may have.


We believe it’s important that older people in care homes stay connected with the local community in Cornwall and not to feel lonely and isolated. We also understand not everyone has family or friends who can visit them regularly.

We know nationally that Carers are over stretched, so our Volunteer programme helps build a sense of belonging to the residents.

Studies have found that the average amount of social interaction for people in care living with dementia is far below the minimum needed to keep a person healthy. Alzheimer’s Association International Conference (AAIC) found that ten minutes of social interaction a day helps improve wellbeing for people with dementia in care homes.

Spending a small amount of time chatting with the residents really does make a difference and helps our carers at the same time.