Volunteer FAQsGet the most out of volunteering
Along with your interest in volunteering, understanding what we can offer, what you may get out of the experience, and many other things will help to ensure that your volunteer experience is beneficial for everyone.
If you know which area you wish to volunteer in and you do not require support with identifying your goals, you may fill out the application and return it to the Volunteer Coordinator who will then get in touch with you to discuss the current volunteer options available.
If you are uncertain about your goals or which placements might work best for you, you can meet with the Volunteer Coordinator who will work with you to identify suitable placements and goals that fit your needs.
If you need support filling out any forms, please contact the Volunteer Coordinator.
Most locations will require a Criminal Record Check prior to accepting volunteers. They may also require a vulnerable sector check, depending on the population they serve. For example, Criminal Record and Vulnerable Sector Checks are necessary to volunteer at the Centre.
There is no fee to obtain these, if they are submitted by an organization for volunteering. You may submit it with your volunteer application or fill it out when you meet with the Volunteer Coordinator.
Please Note: Empower does not discriminate based on whether or not a person has a criminal record. Persons with a history of criminal activity will be placed based on the details of the report.
Many organizations will require more screening, such as resumes, references, and interviews. While this can be intimidating, it’s often a smooth and practiced process, and Empower is willing to support you if you run into any barriers.
There is no maximum or minimum age requirement for volunteering with Empower. Though, we may request that our younger volunteers be accompanied by an adult family member or friend; we cannot promise direct supervision. Age requirements for other organizations will vary.
Your role at the Centre would depend on the work you want to do, the skills you have, and the skills you want to build. While we try our best to find our volunteers the perfect fit, we often have to work around multiple schedules, limited capacity, and the popularity of certain volunteer roles. This is often true for many organizations. But, if we cannot meet your needs at Empower, we would be happy to help you find volunteer work elsewhere.
The real question is: where do you want to volunteer? Most community, and some private, organizations provide opportunities for people to volunteer. And even those who don’t, may be open to trying something new. An effective way to find a volunteer location is to think about the kind of work you want to do, and the skills you want to build, and find a place that would allow you to do it. The Volunteer Coordinator can support you through this process.
While it is great that you care enough to seek us out, we will need to speak to your family member directly. As we operate under an independent living philosophy, it is important to us that our consumers make their own informed decisions. As such, we will need to hear from your family member that they are interested in volunteering, what experience they have, and what they are looking for.
If your main goal is finding a way for your family member to socialize and share experiences with others with disabilities, consider having the person check out our Peer Support.
Yes. A flexible schedule would provide us with more options regarding the kind of work you can do. However, regardless of when you are available, we can help you seek out volunteer work that meets your needs. For example, if you can only volunteer on weekends, we can connect you with an organization that is open during those hours.
Yes, we can, depending on the need. That’s our specialty! At Empower we love to help people break down barriers. If you have any obstacles to volunteering, let us know and we will do all we can to help you find a way around them.
Unfortunately, the Centre does not have the capacity to provide personal supports that would normally be carried out by a support worker or family member. Examples of these include toilet-related supports, support with eating meals, etc. If you use supports in other areas of your life, you will most likely need to bring those supports to your volunteer placement as well.
Every volunteer with Empower receives our general volunteer orientation to the Centre. This covers out history, what we do, our expectations, and various other important pieces of information. From there, training will depend on the type of volunteer work you will be doing. Training within other organizations will vary.
Having volunteer work to add to your resume is a good thing, and improves your chances of gaining employment everywhere. Whether or not that is at the Centre will depend on if we are looking for employees, the skills we’re looking for, and whether your volunteer work was relevant to the job opening. However, having familiarity with the Centre and the people there will help!
The Volunteer Coordinator can be reached in the following ways:
Volunteer Services Coordinator
T: 709- 722-4031
F: 709- 722-0147