Volunteer Skills Development
The Volunteer Skills Development Program is designed to provide volunteers with real-life experiences in a work environment.
What is the Volunteer Skills Development Program?
The Victoria Disability Resource Centre (VDRC) aims to promote the independence of persons living with all forms of disabilities, and at the heart of this are our wonderful volunteers. The Volunteer Skills Development Program offers a wide range of opportunities for individuals to develop valuable skills and practices that many prospective employers look for in job applicants. This is done by providing volunteers with real-life experiences in a work environment.
The experience of volunteering promotes leadership, addresses life skills training, strengthens self-esteem and, enables persons with disabilities to experience a more independent lifestyle. In many cases, it provides individuals with the knowledge, skills, experience and confidence to become employed, ultimately participating to a greater degree in the life of the community.
Through the Volunteer Skills Development Program, the volunteers will determine what skills pertaining to working in an office or non-profit environment that they would like to develop and strengthen. They will then be offered one of several available positions within the VDRC that will allow them to utilize their desired skills. As there are multiple ways to volunteer with the VDRC, there are also opportunities for volunteers to shift their focus towards learning new skills by taking on new tasks.
Positions currently being filled by volunteers include:
- Front desk reception;
- Parking placard sales desks;
- Data entry;
- Administrative assistance;
- IT support;
- Computer tutoring; and,
- Information & Referral services.
All these positions provide valuable experience in customer service and gaining knowledge of community resources. There will be plenty of opportunity to develop crucial office skills, such as data entry and file management, as well as practice utilizing several Microsoft Office programs, namely Excel and Access Database.
You may even have some of your own ideas on how you would like to volunteer and we are always open to exploring new and innovative ideas.
“I got really good training for re-entering the work force here at the VDRC. At the VDRC, there are very specific tasks to do, you complete transactions, handle money, deal with customers—all really useful experience to prepare you for a real job. When you’ve been absent from the work force for a long time due to an injury, just the idea of going out to look for work is daunting. Job opportunities can come up, but you have to be ready for them. Volunteering at the VDRC was for me a safe place to get in gear again.” ~ Anonymous
“I am a trans woman who had been unemployed and looking for work for just over two years. I was on IA and my anxiety over the acceptance of others and of my own personal acceptance had me frozen at the thought of going to an interview. At the recommendation of my case worker, I started looking for volunteer opportunities. I was introduced to the Victoria Disability Resource Centre, where I was able to gain some office work experience. Since coming to the VDRC my confidence has bloomed. I started as a person who worked in her corner trying not to be noticed. As I became confident enough I was able to access the services offered and gain firsthand experience of the independence focused work that is done here. I am now employed at the Victoria Disability Resource Centre part time as the administrative assistant. I am very happy that the work I do goes towards helping a charitable organization that I know is doing valuable work for others.” ~ Nicole Hogenson