What is the Volunteer Integration Program?
The Volunteer Integration Program (VIP) is a program run by Community Volunteer Connections, with support from Community Living BC. Through this program, adults living with intellectual disabilities are supported in micro-volunteering and ongoing opportunities with local organizations. In other words, the VIP finds volunteer placements for adults with intellectual disabilities, and provides all the support they need to thrive in these roles. We have been supporting adult volunteers in the Volunteer Integration Program since 1989!
What do VIP volunteers do?
VIP volunteers do many things! We have a variety of ongoing opportunities and group activities, as well as many unique micro-volunteering opportunities at festivals, hiring fairs, and much more. VIP volunteers also support the city of Coquitlam in their public facilities as dish washers, food and beverage servers, act as ambassadors to the community, and much more!
The volunteer integration program is passionate about building connections and supporting networks of care for our communities. Our volunteers generally work 2-5 hours a week.
Can I Invite VIP volunteers to support my organization?
To host volunteers from the Volunteer Integration Program, you must be a nonprofit organization, public serving organization, or grassroots organization operating in the Tri-Cities. A volunteer role description is also required.
How do I know if the role is a good fit for volunteers in the program?
Your role is a good fit as long as you’re committed to enabling adults with intellectual disabilities to volunteer with your organisation. It’s that simple. The VIP program will provide any extra support our volunteers need; the coordinator will work with program participants to make sure that both they and your organisation are able to thrive.
VIP volunteers are as diverse as any other group of volunteers, with a wide variety of interests and skills. The only difference is that VIP participants need a little extra support, especially when learning new skills. As long as you have the space for our coordinator to tag along with VIP volunteers, and you’re willing to allow volunteers space to learn and grow, you’ll be a great fit for our program.
What are my Responsibilities as a VIP host?
As a host, most of your responsibilities are the same as they would be to any volunteer, such as providing any equipment and PPE necessary for the role, and supplying breaks as appropriate.
For the Volunteer Integration Program specifically, you are responsible for providing a full volunteer job description, and following it. Once you are partnered with us, you will also maintain communication with the VIP coordinator as the main point of contact for volunteers.
What are the Volunteers Responsibilities to hosts?
VIP volunteers are responsible for being courteous and professional and follow CVC’s volunteer code of conduct, set out in the policies manual. They will show up for their shifts on time and work hard while they are on shift. They will also communicate their needs and their limitations when relevant.
The VIP coordinator is responsible for scheduling volunteers and ensuring a good match between volunteers and hosts. The coordinator is also responsible for providing any additional support the volunteer may require and for acting as the point of contact between volunteers and hosts. The coordinator is available to support any adjustments and accommodations required, both for volunteers and for hosts.
What if I have questions or concerns about the program or about volunteers?
If you have any questions that aren’t answered here, or any concerns about the VIP program or VIP volunteers, please reach out to the Volunteer Integration Program coordinator Kay Hacker. Kay is the main point of contact for the program and for VIP volunteers.
I have (or someone I care about has) an intellectual disability.
How can I get them involved in the VIP? All Volunteer Integration Program participants are referred to Community Volunteer Connections through Community Living BC; we do not accept any direct applications. To be eligible for the VIP program, you must have an intellectual disability, and you must be 19+ living in the Tri-Cities.
How can I support the VIP if I don’t have an intellectual disability?
There are many ways that folks who don’t have an intellectual disability can support the Volunteer Integration Program. The biggest one is by volunteering with us! The VIP program is currently recruiting Peer Support Volunteers to work alongside program participants- you might help run the cash register while a VIP volunteer serves coffee and pastries, help VIP volunteers wash dishes in a community kitchen or come with us to a festival and help us run the welcome table. Peer Support Volunteers work with the VIP coordinator to support VIP participants who are already comfortable in a role and to provide extra support for events with a high number of VIP volunteers. Reach out to Kay for more information!
Other ways to support the program include referring new hosts – know an organization that meets our criteria and is looking for volunteers?