Help someone with a disability in your community today! DONATE online at Canada Helps.
Aidez une personne handicapée de votre communauté! Faites un don en ligne à CanaDon.org.
CHANGE TWO LIVES
Everyday Champions is a one-on-one match with a volunteer in our community and a child, youth or adult living with a disability. A match can also be a volunteer from our community, paired with multiple home residents from a group home, who all live with disabilities.
“Atinc and I were paired up almost a year ago, and we immediately bonded over one of the things that we both love best: Ottawa Senators hockey. Citizen Advocacy saw us as a great match based on our passion for the team and hockey in general. This provided us with a quick and easy transition into building a much deeper friendship. Atinc and I frequently make trips together to different wing spots to enjoy the games. We can walk to most of these places as we live quite close to each other.
In the summer, our love of sports translates into both of us cheering for the Toronto Blue Jays. We love heading to Boston Pizza to sit on the patio, enjoy some drinks, and watch them win. Over the past year, we have also been able to attend an Ottawa Fury soccer game together as well as a Sens game. We began as friends with similar passions, and with spending time together we have learned more about each other, and connect in other areas of our lives. Atinc has taught me many things about the difficulties of living with a physical disability and has changed my outlook – I now have a greater appreciation of the little things in life. I look forward to spending many more years hanging out and developing our friendship further.”
When you meet Greeta McCormick and Florence Butler their strong friendship, love of people and sense of fun is very evident.
The pair were matched at the end of 2012. Greeta originally wanted someone to help her get out of her retirement residence occasionally and to go with her to see her son, who has a disability and lives in a group home. Florence was an ideal match for her as she too has a son with disabilities and knows the importance of family ties.
As well as visits to Greeta’s son, they used to get out to Carlingwood Mall, McDonalds and local coffee shops. As the years have gone on and Greeta’s mobility has decreased, they confine themselves to visits in her room and when the weather is good, visits on the patio of Greeta’s retirement home.
Florence speaks glowingly about Greeta; she says she has brilliant ideas, helps the other residents in her home, has lots of great stories and is a joy to spend time with. Greeta is just as complimentary – she says that she enjoys her visits with Florence more than anything, Florence really loves people and she exudes warmth and kindness.
Volunteer to make a real difference in your community as we work to reduce loneliness and isolation one person at a time.
In Ottawa 300 people with disabilities are waiting an average of four years for a volunteer.
As a friend to someone with a disability you can have a profound effect on their life by reducing loneliness and isolation; helping to achieve hopes and dreams; developing personal networks and relationships; decreasing vulnerability; and increasing self-confidence, mental and physical health.
You will change too as you learn more about your Friend and deepen your relationship, including gaining an increased appreciation of your own life and feeling good supporting someone in your community.
If you enjoy spending time with people and have an hour or two available each week, we invite you to contact us. As a volunteer, you need to be over the age of 18 and make a minimum commitment of 12 months to this role [Note: your status in Canada may affect your ability to make this commitment e.g. visitor visa, student visa, refugee claimant]. Preparation and ongoing support are provided.
Are you a tennis fan? (Hintonburg)
George is in his early 60s who feels isolated from his community. He would like a friend who enjoys playing and watching tennis, is patient and willing to spend a couple of hours, one evening or at the weekend, with him.
Are you an open-minded, patient person? (Downtown)
Are you an open-minded, patient person who would enjoy doing crafts, shopping and going for walks with Grace? Grace is a woman in her late 50s who lives with a disability. She would like to spend time each week with a volunteer Advocate who enjoys some of her interests.
Volunteer to spent time in your community (Nepean)
Ned is in his mid-50s and has a great sense of humour. He is keen to get out into the community with the support of a volunteer Advocate. He is open to a number of activities and these could be as simple as going out for a coffee or a beer
Do you enjoy crossword puzzles and arts and crafts? (Britannia)
Ginny has been waiting seven years for a volunteer Advocate who can spend an hour or two with her each week. Ginny likes doing arts and crafts, watching movies, visiting museums and doing crossword puzzles.
The first step to becoming a volunteer advocate is to attend an 80-minute volunteer information session at our office, 312 Parkdale Ave. There are many times to choose from:
- Thursday June 28, 6:00 pm
- Wednesday July 11, 12:30 pm
- Thursday July 26, 6:00 pm
- Thursday, August 9, 6:00 pm
To let us know if you would like to attend an information session, contact our Community Engagement Coordinator:
Maria Redpath 613-761-9522 Ext. 222 or MRedpath@citizenadvocacy.org
PAPERWORK & ONBOARDING SESSION
After you have attended an information session and learned more, consider if Citizen Advocacy is a fit with your volunteering interests. If you’d like to continue you must complete the following:
a) fill out the volunteer application form and submit it.
b) apply for a Police Records Check for Service With the Vulnerable Sector (it’s free with a letter from us saying you’re applying to volunteer). Once you’ve done this please contact our Community Engagement Coordinator, Maria Redpath 613-761-9522 ext. 222 to let us know you this is underway.
c) attend a mandatory one-day seminar to prepare you for your role as an advocate. This training will cover:
- The role of an Advocate
- The impact that an intentional friendship can have on someone with a disability
- Learning about different disabilities
- Learning about available sources of help and support
- Learning about common issues and strategies to help
In addition, it will give you an opportunity to meet other new Advocates and Citizen Advocacy staff to learn and share ideas together.
There are many dates and times to choose from:
Friday, June 29 – 9:30 am – 4:30 pm
Saturday, July 14 – 9:30 am – 4:30 pm
Saturday, September 15 – 9:30 am – 4:30 pm
Friday, September 28 – 9:30 am – 4:30 pm
To let us know which session you will be attending please contact our Community Engagement Coordinator, Maria Redpath 613-761-9522 ext. 222.
Once we have confirmation your vulnerable sector check is underway, have a copy of your volunteer application form and you have attended the onboarding session you are ready for your learning conversation. We will send you the contact details of the social worker so you can both arrange a mutually convenient time to meet.
Remember to let us know if you decide not to continue the process to become a volunteer advocate.
Step 2 must be completed before you will be booked for your learning conversation. This is an in-person discussion with a social worker, lasting 90 to 120 minutes. We’ll get to know you, your personality, hobbies and interests. This helps us narrow down the entire waiting list to those that are possibly the best match for you.
After your learning conversation the social worker will contact your references. Please notify them to expect this call.
You will be invited by your social worker to a one-hour meeting where they will present a number of potential Friends. You will participate in choosing the person with a disability you would like to be matched with.
ADDITIONAL TRAINING/INFORMATION CONFIRMATION
You will be sent a link, user name and password to complete the following training sessions online. The training needs to be completed before your first match meeting with your Friend. Please bring your completion certificates to that meeting and give them to your Social Worker.
- AODA Customer Service Training (condensed content) (32 minutes)
- Understanding Human Rights (AODA Edition) (28 minutes)
At the onboarding session you are given the following policies and asked to read them before your first match meeting.
- Health & Safety
- Violence & Harassment
Please bring your completed acknowledgement form to your first match meeting and give them to your Social Worker.
Your social worker will facilitate the first meeting between you and your potential Friend. After the initial meeting the social worker will contact both party to confirm that each of you would like to continue with the match. If you are both happy with the match you can now start doing fun activities together!
CONTACT US INCLUDING FEEDBACK ON ACCESSIBILITY/COMMUNIQUEZ AVEC NOUS INCLUANT VOTRE OPINION SUR L'ACCESSIBILITÉ
Toll Free/Sans Frais: 1-866-222-2138
312 av. Parkdale Ave.,
Ottawa, ON, K1Y 4X5
Charitable Registration Number/Numéro d’enregistrement d’organisme de bienfaisance
13036 2817 RR0001