Become a Volunteer
Our Community Support Volunteers are the backbone of our organization, with them, we change lives.
Through their remarkable dedication and kindness, the Community Support Volunteers are able to come alongside our clients to assist them and their families in so many ways. They have proven you do not need to be a healthcare provider to bring comfort and support to others.
Being compassionate and being able to just listen is a CSV’s most valuable skill and responsibility. Our team cares for people of all ages, stages and backgrounds, with all types of illness and they are available throughout the course of an illness.
With specialized training provided, they are also available for companioning caregivers journeying through bereavement after death.
Becoming a Community Support Volunteer
The majority of our Community Support Volunteer’s (CSV’s) are “Visiting Volunteers”. However, some get involved in our bereavement services, our wellness groups, driving service, fundraising, and or social events. There are many ways to become involved.
Client CSV’s are required to undertake Special Educational Training by way of a 20-30-hour course created by Hospice Palliative Care Ontario, specifically geared for the visiting and companioning portion of our service.
We have additional educational training for our Bereavement Companions, and a Drivers Orientation package before we register any volunteer drivers. All our CSV’s are required to take an “Orientation to Service” session and get acquainted with existing volunteers, before setting out on their own within our service programs.
We are completely committed to providing continuing education opportunities throughout the year, most commonly through our monthly CSV meetings and outside palliative care-related workshops.
You do not need to be a healthcare provider to support others.
Listening is a volunteer’s most valuable skill and responsibility. Palliative Care volunteers care for people of all ages, backgrounds and with all types of illnesses; they are available throughout the course of an illness and in bereavement after death.
The majority of our visiting volunteers are involved in our client/caregiver care. However, some get involved in our Phone Bereavement Program and other special projects we have from time to time.
Client volunteers undertake a 30-hour training program which is a standardized course through Hospice Palliative Care Ontario and is developed on the guiding principles of the Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Association’s “Model to Guide Hospice Palliative Care”. Every volunteer must take our “Orientation to Our Service” session and our Phone Bereavement Training Course.
We are committed to providing continuing education opportunities throughout the year, most commonly through our monthly volunteer meetings and outside palliative care – related workshops.
Am I the Right Kind of Person to Become a
Community Support Volunteer?
It takes a special kind of person to become a Community Support Volunteer.
Successful volunteers can articulate why they are drawn to this kind of work, and typically have some personal knowledge of what it’s like to have a loved one pass. They also have an awareness and acceptance of the differences in the way people cope with illness, grief and bereavement.
Successful volunteers can listen, be supportive and ensure that the clients know that their time with them is focused on the clients and the caregivers’ needs directly.
They understand that volunteer work is about creating an accepting and non-judgemental space for conversation. That it is not a place to vent their own opinions, losses, or grievances.
If you have recently experienced a significant loss in your own life, we ask that you wait a full year to apply to become a volunteer. We want to ensure that you have worked with your own loss and are emotionally prepared for the work of a Community Support Volunteer.
Although tremendously rewarding and meaningful, visiting volunteer work can be emotionally draining. Successful volunteers develop excellent support systems to nourish their own well-being and have healthy ways of relieving stress.
Our best care, support and understanding is offered by our own team of volunteers amongst each other.
Becoming a Community Support Volunteer
Thank you for your interest in volunteering with us. Here are the Palliative Care volunteer application steps:
- You should review our website and familiarize yourself with who we are as an organization
- Complete a Visiting Volunteer Application Form
- The Executive Director will contact you after reviewing your application, and if selected, will call you to schedule an interview
- There will be a one-on-one meeting with the Executive Director
After the interview, the Executive Director will assess if you have the right combination of skills, experience, and interests to fit on our team. Then, if selected:
- You will be registered in a Volunteer Training Course
- While taking the training course, you will get a Vulnerable Sector Police Clearance
- After completing your training, you will complete a post-training orientation to our Service where you will sign a confidentiality form
The associated costs of taking the training course will be covered by us, as well as the cost of the Police Clearance.
There is no specified time you have to commit to our Service but once you have been given a client we expect you to complete your assignment to the best of your ability.
We work in teams so help is always available if you are sick or away on holidays. We expect you to attend most monthly meetings, take our Bereavement Education Course and attend ongoing continuing education opportunities – we pay for everything!
We have high expectations for our volunteers. That is because we want to offer the best level of compassionate service possible; as well as peace of mind for our clients and their families/caregivers.
Become a volunteer
Complete a Visiting Volunteer Application Form
& Visiting Volunteer Interview Form & Join our Team!
Sitting on our Board of Directors
The Niagara-on-the-Lake Community Palliative Care is governed by up to a 15-member volunteer Board of Directors. The expertise and commitment of time and resources provided by the Directors ensure clear and quality leadership.
Annual General Meeting
In accordance with our By-Law Number 1, we hold our Annual General Meeting in our Board Room on the third Tuesday of October at noon.
Monthly Board Meetings
The Board meetings are held on the third Tuesday of each month – except July, August and December – in our Board Room at noon.
If you have any interest in becoming a Board member, please contact our Executive Director, Bonnie Bagnulo.
From time to time we require Ad-hoc Volunteers.
No need to make a monthly time commitment that you can not keep. The opportunity to be involved for a special project from time to time, does occasionally arise. If you are interested in helping us with anything at all, then we need YOU!
We would be happy to keep your name on file for alternative volunteering, special occasions.