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Volunteer Program Outline

Thank you for your interest in Hospice Toronto’s volunteer program. As a non-profit registered charity, Hospice Toronto relies on its volunteers to play a key role in all of our services and programs; from the volunteer board of directors who govern Hospice Toronto; to the volunteers that assist with fundraising, awareness and community events. There are many exciting opportunities to consider. Joining the Hospice Toronto team is an incredible and rewarding experience.  Currently we have over 250 volunteers who support the organization in many capacities.

With the support of Hospice Toronto’s volunteers, together with our professional staff, we assist approximately 400 individuals and hundreds of families and caregivers each year. Together we can make a difference, please consider joining our  volunteer team. The majority of our volunteers provide direct services to our clients and their families and caregivers by generously spending time with someone who is living with a life-threatening illness.  Hospice Toronto In-home Hospice volunteers are a specialized group of ‘professional volunteers’ who offer many things including companionship, emotional support and practical assistance to our clients, and short-term relief to client families and caregivers. Many practical and supportive tasks can make a significant difference to those who are living while they are dying. For some, volunteers bring normalcy to day-to-day life.  From offering some warm companionship, reading stories or the local paper, talking about world events, to remembering past life experiences and the accomplishments that people have experienced…to name just a few.  Many volunteers assist with life’s basic tasks such as organizing papers, writing letters or helping to make phone calls, to assisting with basic food preparation, light household duties, shopping assistance, providing comfort measures and personal care. For many families and caregivers Hospice Toronto volunteers offer much needed additional support, including respite relief and ‘listening ears’. Our Home Help volunteers give practical support by providing cooking, homemaking and shopping assistance.

Due to the sensitive nature of our work, we are committed to ensuring that all volunteers are fully screened and trained prior to working directly with our clients. This process is extensive and requires a tremendous commitment to all that join our team. The process includes attending a volunteer information session**, submitting an application, an in-person interview, reference checks, a vulnerable persons police records check and 35+ hours of initial training. We also offer ongoing professional development opportunities, volunteer support and social activities throughout the year.  Hospice Toronto volunteers and staff engage in an active process of communication when working with clients and we offer ongoing supervision, coaching and feedback.

**Reserve a space to learn more about our volunteer opportunities by registering for one of the following Volunteer Information Sessions (please indicate your preferred date when submitting your completed application form).

Upcoming Volunteer Information Session Dates:

Thursday August 9, 20186:00pm – 7:30pm
Tuesday August 17, 20186:00pm – 7:30pm
Wednesday September 5, 20186:00pm – 7:30pm

Hospice Toronto offers comprehensive training programs.  The Core Hospice and Home Help training programs typically take place 2-3 times per year, usually in the winter, spring and fall. All client service volunteers are required to fully complete the applicable training program and the screening process prior to working directly with Hospice Toronto clients and families. We also ask that volunteers make a commitment of a minimum of one year from the completion date of their training, as Hospice Toronto makes a significant investment in training and supporting its volunteers to ensure a strong team.

The next 35+ hour Palliative Care Core Hospice Volunteer training program for all In-home Hospice and Complementary Therapy volunteers will be starting in October 2018 and will be taking place on ALL of the dates below (attendance at all 9 sessions is required):

6 Thursday evenings from 5:45pm to 9:15pm on October 18, 25 November 1, 8, 15, 22

AND*

3 Saturdays from 9:30am to 4:00pm on November 3, 17 and 24

Hospice Toronto also has other specialized roles for volunteers who have professional experience and other interests. Complementary Therapy volunteers are registered practitioners with experience in Registered Massage Therapy, Reiki, Healing Touch, Therapeutic Touch, Reflexology, Music or Expressive Arts Therapy; who are able to share their skills with our clients. Our Children’s Support volunteers work with children who are impacted by the illness of a loved-one and our Bereavement Support volunteers work with bereaved individuals, families or groups.

Hospice Toronto, through a partnership with Saint Elizabeth Health and Inter-City Health Associates (ICHA) provides volunteer support in a hospice residence setting at Journey Home Hospice which offers emotional, social and practical supports to clients who are experiencing homelessness or who are vulnerably housed, and who are also coping with a life threatening illness. Volunteer shifts take place in the residential hospice setting which is currently located within a supportive housing facility in the downtown area (Jarvis/Shuter Streets).

Additional specialized training is required for experienced In-home Hospice volunteers who are interested in volunteering within our Children’s Support, Bereavement Support and Residential Hospice Programs. These training programs are open to experienced Hospice Toronto In-home client service volunteers and are offered on an as-needed basis. This cross-training then allows volunteers to be utilized in any of the applicable programs, based on the area of greatest client need.

Hospice Toronto advances its model of volunteer-based, home hospice palliative care and support in some diverse communities through this innovative approach to end-of-life and life-limiting care to help people, living with a life-threatening illness, and their families realize their choice to remain at home and receive care.

Creating Caring Community (CCC) in St. James Town, is a vibrant community development program which focuses on addressing the varied and complex healthcare needs of new Canadians, seniors, and people living marginally. With a community development philosophy, CCC aims to collaborate in culturally sensitive ways with local social agencies and their networks to identify, engage and assist those who are coping with serious health challenges. The CCC program strives to support those individuals and their families and caregivers so that they may remain at home or in the community with a high quality of life for as long as possible. To be eligible to volunteer for the CCC program, applicants must live in St. James Town or the surrounding neighbourhoods.

Application Process

When applying to join the Hospice Toronto In-home Hospice, Complementary Therapy, Home Help or CCC volunteer teams, please allow sufficient time to attend an upcoming volunteer information session, an interview to be scheduled and reference checks completed before being accepted into the next available training series. For most of our other non-client volunteer opportunities there is an ongoing intake throughout the year.

To apply for any of our volunteer opportunities please review the downloadable documents listed below and complete and submit via e-mail the appropriate downloadable application form.

Downlaodable Documents

To speak with someone directly regarding your specific volunteer interests and to submit an application please contact us at 416-364-1666, ext. 226 or via e-mail.

Volunteering at Hospice Toronto can be a demanding and challenging opportunity, yet a very rewarding and fulfilling one that allows our clients to die at home with dignity and support. We look forward to hearing from you.



Please be advised that Hospice Toronto is NOT recruiting international health care professionals in the Philippines or any other country outside of Canada. Please click here for more information and inform your local authorities if you receive any fraudulent offers.