A Rewarding Experience
Hear from our Volunteers
When I first joined A Friendly Voice, I was hoping that (in some small way) I could make a difference in the lives of others. While I hope that has been true, the real change has happened in my life. I so look forward to my weekly shifts when I can re-connect with our regular clients and the opportunity to make new friends who call us. I could not have anticipated how much joy I would feel for giving such a small amount of my time.
Volunteering for AFV has been an extremely enriching experience in my life. Being able to make personal connections with seniors around Ontario makes me feel connected to my community in a broader way than is typically accessible to young adults. It’s rewarding to speak with the callers, over time developing a rapport and connection with them, and to know that I’m making their day a little bit brighter for it too. You can really tell that you’re making a positive impact on the callers. Plus, the stories you hear are a delight, and it’s a great way to broaden your perspective on life. What AFV provides the community is so valuable, I am proud to be a part of it.
Volunteering with AFV has helped me connect with the Ottawa community and beyond during an unprecedented, challenging, and isolating time. I learn about different towns, regions, people’s experiences and stories as I chat with interesting seniors from all over Ontario. The AFV program is important and valuable. It is run by the amazing ROSSS staff who provide ongoing training, education, and support, allowing volunteers to hone skills and develop new ones too. This has benefited me personally and professionally. If you are looking for an opportunity to make a small difference and boost the feeling of purpose, I highly recommend joining our group of fun, kind and diverse volunteers.
Being a Friendly Voice volunteer is interesting and rewarding. The program is well managed, and volunteers are trained and supported. Since retirement, I have wanted to become involved in the broader community and almost a year ago I completed the training and became a Friendly Voice volunteer. Each week I chat with seniors from around the province and always learn something new. It is a pleasure to be on the Friendly Voice Team.
I am really, really enjoying volunteering at A Friendly Voice! It’s so fun never knowing whom I’m going to be talking with or what I’ll be talking about when I answer the phone. Some callers really have something they want to discuss while other callers simply want to chat. In just my first few months of volunteering at A Friendly Voice I’ve already had a lot of fun and memorable conversations, and, in addition to boosting the social connections of the callers I think A Friendly Voice has done wonders to help boost my social connection during the times of COVID! I really, really look forward to my shifts at A Friendly Voice, and I often tell callers to call whenever they feel like chatting, because us volunteers are all social people who love chatting and we get excited whenever the phone rings!
You’ve got questions. We’ve got answers. FAQs
How old do I need to be to volunteer?
- Applicants must be 18+ years of age to volunteer.
How does it work?
- After submitting your short application form, you will be contacted within 3 business days to schedule a short, informal get-to-know-you call where you’ll have the opportunity to ask questions and hear more about the work we do. The onboarding/training process is broken into three parts: Interview/Meet & Greet, Group Training Part 1 (Modules), and Training Part 2 (observation, shadowed calls).
How long is each phone call?
- Calls are limited to 20 – 30 minutes. Most of the regular callers know this and honour that timing.
- We will provide you with ways to thank callers for the chat, remind them that their time is up for today and encourage them to call back another day. It’s all part of your training.
What typically happens on the calls?
- Conversations can be about anything but typically range from the weather, sports, current events, food, hobbies, family, grandchildren etc. We support our senior callers through warm, friendly conversations.
What do I do if a caller asks for my advice or needs immediate / more serious help than I can provide?
- AFV is NOT a crisis line or referral service and volunteers do NOT give advice or provide counselling. You will be trained on how to direct the caller to the appropriate resources within their community or, if this is a crisis situation, on how to immediately defer the call to the appropriate authorities, emergency or crisis services.
What is the expected time commitment to volunteer?
- We ask for a minimum, 4-hour per week time commitment. Please note this is a commitment of one 4-hour block per week versus two 2-hour blocks. However, you are always welcome to take on more shifts if you are able.
Do I have to go to a call centre to take the calls?
- No, you do not! You can work your volunteer shift from the comfort and convenience of your own home. No need to travel anywhere.
Will the caller be able to see my phone number or know my name?
- All calls are answered within our private, password-protected app. No personal information is ever exposed to the caller.
Do I have control over my volunteer schedule?
- Our schedules are living, breathing documents that are produced and distributed up to 2 months in advance based on the availability of all volunteers. You will be asked about your availability for the given time period in advance and accommodated as best we can.
What if I need to change a shift?
- If an unexpected emergency comes up that requires you to miss or change a shift, please contact the volunteer manager as soon as possible so that a replacement can be found with minimal disruption.
Do you provide training?
- Yes, we provide comprehensive training and all the resources needed to ensure volunteers have a successful and rewarding experience. Our training program includes a group onboarding and training session, one-on-one shadow calls, and supervised calls until you are ready to handle the calls on your own.
- Monthly team support meetings where we discuss our successes, challenges, any changes to the procedures etc.
Do I need a Police Record Check and how much does it cost?
- Yes, a police record check for the vulnerable sector is required every year by law. Prices vary depending on your location but average approximately $20.00.
What equipment do I need to volunteer?
- You only need a phone or computer that you can download our app onto. Everything else is taken care of within the app.
Other than talking to the seniors, what else am I expected to do as part of my volunteer responsibilities?
- Volunteers are asked to complete a call log at the end of their shift. That’s all.
I still have questions. Whom should I contact?
- Feel free to call 613-692-4697 or 613-692-9992 or reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
I’m interested in becoming a phoneline volunteer. What do I do next?
- Thank you for your interest in volunteering. It means so much to us! Simply complete the application form and we’ll be in touch with you shortly.
How to Apply
Join our team of volunteer heroes. It doesn’t take much to make a significant difference in the lives of lonely seniors in our community. Simply complete our short application form. Training begins soon.