Volunteer Resources
Volunteer FAQs

I am thinking of volunteering. What should I consider?

Your volunteer assignment should complement your personality, life experiences, skills and availabilities. To help us find the right fit, please consider what you would like to offer and what you expect to gain.

What are the benefits of volunteering?

As a volunteer you will expand horizons and explore career options;

How do I let you know that I am interested in becoming a volunteer?

The first step is to complete and submit the volunteer application form. Please make sure that the application form lists the facility you would like to volunteer at.

How long is the process to become a volunteer and what does it involve?

If a facility is accepting volunteers (sometimes our programs are full), the process may take three to four weeks. The process includes the completion of an application form, an interview, a security check, a baseline health screening, verification of references, attendance at a Volunteer Resources orientation, and any required program-specific training.

Potential volunteers may be concerned about the length of our screening and training process. Please remember that our first priority is patient safety. Our volunteers must understand the challenges of volunteering in an complex organization, the high standards expected and needed of us, and the paramount importance of our shared duty to the people we serve.

Why do you require a baseline health screening?

We are committed to ensuring a safe and healthy environment. As part of this commitment, staff and volunteers are required to undergo a basic health screening. This helps reduce the spread of communicable diseases within our facilities and helps protect our vulnerable patients.

For the safety of everyone involved, volunteer applications may be refused based on the results of the health screening.

Why do you ask for a Security Check?

We are required by legislation (Protection for Persons in Care Act, July 2010) to ensure that the staff and volunteers who are caring for our patients are thoroughly screened. In all cases, we will cover the cost of the security check. It is important to note that we may need to ask volunteers to explain their criminal record status and may refuse a volunteer’s application based on the results of the Security Check.

What sort of volunteer opportunities are available?

Different facilities offer different opportunities. Volunteers interact with patients and their families, support clinical programs and staff, assist in raising funds, and contribute to community programs. Volunteers also have the opportunity to participate in unique programs that individual facilities offer. No matter what your interest or skills are, we will do our best to find an assignment that is right for you.

Does every facility have volunteer opportunities available?

No, not every facility has volunteer opportunities available. Some facilities are only able to accept a certain number of volunteers and may not be accepting new volunteers.

Can I request a certain assignment if I have a strong interest in a particular area?

Yes. You will be interviewed prior to your assignment, and this is your opportunity to let us know what your skills and interests are and what sort of volunteer assignment would interest you most. It is important that you enjoy your assignment.

I have received professional training in the health field. May I practice that as a volunteer?

During your pre-assignment interview, make sure that the Volunteer Resources Department knows of your training and your interests. Please note that volunteers carry out tasks within the scope of a program description and may not perform nursing duties or other professional tasks outside of that program scope.

Is there flexibility in changing my volunteer program?

Depending on availability in other areas, opportunities may exist to change your volunteer assignment once you have either completed your initial commitment or in addition to your initial assignment. It is important to us that you enjoy your assignment and feel fulfilled with the work that you do.

What is the time commitment?

Many programs ask that you commit for a certain length of time. This can be a certain time frame or a certain number of hours. Some sites offer programs that occur on a one time or annual basis. The time that you contribute also depends on your availability. Please discuss these expectations and your availability with the Volunteer Resources Department.

How long are volunteer shifts?

Most volunteer shifts last between two and four hours.

How old do I have to be to volunteer?

Minimum age requirements for volunteers vary depending on the program and facility. Some facilities accept volunteers at the age of 13 or 14, while at others a volunteer must be 16 or 18. Please contact the Volunteer Resources Department at the facility you would like to volunteer at for more information.

Will I be volunteering alone or with other volunteers?

Depending on the volunteer program and facility, you may be volunteering alone or with others. Please let the Volunteer Resources Department know what you would prefer.

What if something happens (e.g. long term illness, unexpected move) and I can no longer honour my volunteer commitment?

While we encourage volunteers to honour their commitment, we realize that sometimes it is simply impossible to do so. If this happens, please contact the Volunteer Resources Department.

What can I expect from the Volunteer Resources Department?

We commit to offering you a volunteer assignment that is well managed and that ensures volunteers work in a supportive environment.

What does the Volunteer Resources Department expect of me?

As a volunteer with us, we expect you to

Who can I contact for more information?

Please contact the Volunteer Resources Department at the facility you would like to volunteer at for more information.