Many people have asked us about volunteering opportunities and how to get involved with an organization to find out what is available.
We asked Melissa Cameron, Acclaim Health’s Director of Marketing and Development for her thoughts on volunteering and she generously offered to share information about her organization’s programs.
Acclaim Health has been in the Halton community for 85 years and has offices and partnerships across the entire region. Its focus is on providing people with quality, community-based health care solutions.
Q. What volunteering opportunities does Acclaim Health offer?
A. Acclaim Health offers a variety of rewarding volunteer positions. Some people prefer the quick convenience of calling isolated seniors in our Tele-Touch program, some prefer to meet their clients face to face as in our Friendly Visiting, Memory Visiting, Hospice Visiting, Bereavement Peer Support, Home Support Exercise Program and Adult Day Programs. Either way, our volunteers often say they really enjoy their time with their clients – it feels incredible to give back and help someone in need. Click here for the full list of the current volunteer opportunities, along with brief descriptions.
Q. Do you provide training for each position?
A. We do provide initial and ongoing training for all of our volunteers. For the Tele-Touch and Friendly Visiting programs, the initial training is fairly minimal – as the most important skills the volunteer needs are to be able to listen and be friendly!
Roles that require some specialized knowledge, such as our Memory Visiting, Hospice Visiting, Bereavement Peer Support, Home Support Exercise Program, all have initial training sessions that run for a few hours a week for 3 – 10 weeks. We also offer lots of interesting, free workshops on a variety of topics throughout the year that are open to all volunteers.
Q. What is the time commitment?
A. The time commitment for most of our positions is 1-2 hours a week.
Q. What do you look for in a volunteer – what characteristics ensure a volunteer is a good match for the position?
A. If you’re a warm, caring person and a good listener – than you’ll make a perfect volunteer!
I’d add that sometimes people are reluctant to volunteer because they aren’t sure they’ll be able to emotionally handle the challenging situations our clients are sometimes in, but once people go through our training, experience the wonderful support they receive from our staff, and meet their client in person, these worries tend to melt away. We currently have over 650 very happy volunteers on our team – some of whom have been with us for decades, a testament to the extensive support our volunteers receive from us.
Q. What other services does Acclaim offer the community?
A. We also offer home Nursing and Personal Support (through the Community Care Access Centre and privately), Caregiver Support and Education for families caring for a loved one with dementia, and Palliative Care Consultation for medical staff in Halton, Peel and Dufferin regions.
What are your thoughts about volunteering? Let us know in the comments box and we’ll post your ideas.