Leisure Assistance Program
As a Leisure Assistant, you will be matched with a person with a disability for the purpose of providing assistance and companionship to participate in leisure or recreational activities. Your match is chosen based on your interests, availability, and location and participants range from young to old with varied disabilities. Common activities include swimming, skating, hiking, working out at the gym, going to a local park or show, arts and crafts and much more. Generally, we ask volunteers for a minimum commitment of two months, with assistant’s usually volunteering one to two hours per week. The specific type and location of your activity will vary based on the needs and interests of you and the participant.
If you, or someone you know, would like to be a participant with our Leisure Assistance Program, please see http://rivonline.org/services
Becoming A Volunteer
How to get started:
- Go to our online application, scroll to the bottom and hit next. This will be automatically sent to the leisure assistance coordinator and we will send you an email as soon as we can.
Once received, the LAC will be in touch to arrange for the following:
- Completion of criminal record check
- An orientation where you will meet the LAC and discuss potential matches.
- An initial meeting with participant and coordinator.
What Does A Volunteer Do?
- Commitment to the leisure inclusion process
- Good communication skills
- Ability to work independently
- Respectful of people with disabilities
- Attend regular leisure/recreational activities with a person with a disability to provide assistance and companionship. Note: The specific type and location of the activity will vary according to the needs and interests of the participant and the volunteer.
- While the Leisure Assistance Coordinator will always be available for support and assistance, the Leisure Assistant’s commitment is made to the participant. The volunteer is responsible for attending all meetings or making alternative arrangements if unable to do so.
- Maintain open lines of communication with the Leisure Assistance Coordinator in regards to the status of their match, keeping him/her informed of any changes in status or concerns the volunteer may have during the time of the match.
What is the Process of Becoming a Volunteer?
Orientation and Screening: The process of becoming a new volunteer for the Leisure Assistance Program involves a volunteer orientation with our Leisure Assistance Coordinator. The volunteer orientation gives you some background information on our organization and explains what the program is all about. To ensure the safety of our participants, we require all of our volunteers to provide references and complete a criminal record check. Volunteers will also need to fill out an oath of confidentiality and a medical release and waiver form. Once the screening process has been completed and we have confirmed your eligibility to volunteer, you will be sent a list of potential matches and be matched with an individual as quickly as possible.
Training: The Leisure Assistance Coordinator will provide a volunteer orientation, a handbook of supplementary information on working with individual with disabilities and on-going support for all Leisure Assistants.
The Matching Process: Once a potential match has been found, an initial meeting is usually held at our office or in a neutral location such as a recreation centre, park or coffee shop. The initial meeting provides an opportunity to learn more about your potential match and the support that individual requires. We will also discuss the logistical details of the match and address any question either the volunteer or participant may have.
Perk: In most cases, the Leisure Assistant will not be expected to pay admission fees while supporting their participant, as the Leisure Assistant’s Pass (which is issued to the participant) will cover them.
Click here to find out where the L.A. pass is accepted →.
Frequently Asked Questions
“How many hours do I volunteer each week?”
Most of our volunteers will commit anywhere from one to four hours per week with the participant they are matched with. The hours vary depending on your availability and what the participant’s interests are.
“For what time period do I volunteer?”
We like our volunteers to commit to at least two months with RIV.
“What kind of activities do I participate in?”
Our matches are based on common recreational and leisure interests. If you enjoy running, swimming, music etc. we will match you with someone who enjoys the same activities.
“I do not have any experience working with individuals who have disabilities. Can I still volunteer for the program?”
Yes. Our volunteers are not required to have past experience working with individuals who have disabilities.
Leisure Assistance Coordinator
Tel: (250) 477-6314 ext. 205
Fax: (250) 477-6046
Recreation Integration Victoria is proud to recognize CO-OP students from the University of Victoria for the Leisure Assistance Coordinator position. Therefore, this position will be revolving, and the coordinator will be temporary.
Where You Can Find Us
4135 Lambrick Way
Victoria, B.C. V8N 5R3