- Build new skills
- Gain valuable work experience
- Become active in your community
- Obtain job references
- Connect with people
- Gain confidence
Volunteer Access provides the one-to-one supports and tools that people need when making that important first step towards volunteering or moving into new volunteer positions. Volunteer Access can help out with any part of the volunteer process including:
- Finding a good volunteer match
- Help with an interview orientation and/or training
- Follow-up support
Volunteer activities change but often include: Retail Assistant, Gardening / Organic Farming, Daycare and Childminding, Kitchen Work, Recreation Assistant, Visiting Seniors, Office Work / Computers, Environmental Projects, or Special Events.
The Recreation Visiting program matches community volunteers with individuals living in mental health group homes to provide companionship and reduce isolation. Volunteers help residents integrate into the community by engaging in social and recreational activities such as: starting fitness programs, going for coffee, playing pool, going shopping, attending cultural activities or watching sports.
Volunteers and clients are matched according to their interests, locations and time availabilities.
As a volunteer this is an excellent opportunity to develop an understanding of mental illness as well as support somebody with their recovery goals. All expenses are paid and supervision is jointly provided by Volunteer Victoria and the group home.
Over a year later, Rebecca Kennel chanced upon the request for a “creative writing volunteer.” “I was looking for something in mental health,” Rebecca said. “…mental illness seems so widespread in our society, so visible…I wanted to learn more. Since I was actively involved in writing, this seemed like a perfect fit.” Rebecca had no idea what she had just signed up for. In the time since Leah had first requested a volunteer, she had become focused on writing stand-up comedy. Rebecca admits, “I didn’t know anything about writing stand-up comedy – and all of a sudden I’m helping Leah to write it. Neither one of us knew what we were doing…and then to see her take that material and stand-up on the stage and deliver it – I was proud that I had a little part in it.”
Fast forward three and a half years, and Leah is still expanding her creative repertoire. She performs for “Stand Up for Mental Health,” has explored cartooning and is making beautiful beaded jewellery, which Rebecca has encouraged her to market. Leah proudly states that “Rebecca offers me a “Zen” perspective – she’s become very special to me. I didn’t realize how special she would become when I first met her.” This is just one of the many heart-warming stories that we hear, and that volunteers get to experience, when taking part in our programs.
Volunteer Victoria is so appreciative of the many caring volunteers in our community – like Rebecca – who are making such a critical difference in the lives of others. Thanks to our partners and funders, Island Health (VIHA) for helping to make this program possible.
Corinne, Volunteer Access Coordinator
Corinne can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 250.386.2269