MEDIA RELEASE

Reopening the Valuable Volunteer Program

January 12, 2021

 

SUDBURY, ON – Volunteer Sudbury is celebrating the reopening of its Valuable Volunteer Program (VVP). VVP, now in its third year, is a support program specifically designed to break down barriers that people living with disabilities and people experiencing mental illness may face when looking to volunteer. The program had stopped operations in March 2020 in the wake of Covid-19, but will begin to slowly and safely resume its operations starting February 12, following the end of the regional stay-home order.

 

The Valuable Volunteer Program is a three year initiative that focuses on providing enhanced support to those who face barriers when looking to volunteer in the community. Inaccessible spaces, a lack of understanding of the everyday obstacles vulnerable populations face, and the inability to accommodate disabilities are just some of the reasons that people who want to give back to the community are currently unable to. 

 

Volunteers are integral to our community, and the Valuable Volunteer Program gives even more people a chance to help others within Greater Sudbury. Through training programs offered to nonprofits and volunteer managers, Volunteer Sudbury will continue its work to foster empathy and identify solutions to the barriers being faced to volunteers. One-on-one support is offered by Volunteer Sudbury during the matching process and throughout the volunteer process to all clients.

 

By eliminating barriers, Volunteer Sudbury helps provide meaningful opportunities to any Sudburian who wants to give back to their community and experience the rewarding effects of volunteerism. Our program is helping volunteer clients foster personal and professional relationships, improve empathy, improve mental health, gain work experience and more, all while enriching the community.

 

“While not all volunteer opportunities and organizations are the same, we have found in the past that in general, people with disabilities and those who experience mental illness can often be given less desirable or unsuitable volunteer jobs because the necessary awareness, training, and resources aren’t readily available to organizations. This can lead to volunteers feeling frustrated and disengaged,” explains Megan Karchie, Program Coordinator at Volunteer Sudbury. 

 

“Over the last 3 years, the VVP has helped create dozens of important connections by working with people who want to volunteer as well as local organizations to provide proper education, and then finding and building meaningful partnerships specific to the individual needs of each person.” 

 

If you are interested in joining the VVP as a volunteer, you can visit https://www.volunteersudbury.com/valuable-volunteer-program for more information, contact Volunteer Sudbury by phone, or email the Program Coordinator at megan@volunteersudbury.com

 

Volunteer Sudbury would like to thank the Ontario Trillium Foundation for its ongoing support. Volunteer Sudbury has run the VVP program since 2018 with the help of a generous grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation.

 

About the Ontario Trillium Foundation: An agency of the Government of Ontario, the Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF) is one of Canada’s largest granting foundations. With a budget of over $136 million, OTF awards grants to some 1,000 projects every year to build healthy and vibrant Ontario communities. www.otf.ca


About Volunteer Sudbury: Volunteer Sudbury (VS) is a local non-profit volunteer resource centre that acts as a link between volunteers and community organizations that rely on volunteers to do the wonderful work that they do. VS helps to promote the benefits of volunteerism through awareness and education, and is the local fixture for promoting, encouraging, developing and facilitating meaningful volunteer experiences.