Engaging a Community That Volunteers
The Kamloops Community Volunteer Services Society, operating as Volunteer Kamloops, is committed to the concept that volunteerism improves the quality of life in the community and , therefore, supports and strengthens volunteerism through promotion, recruitment, education, orientation, and referral services for volunteers and organizations in our community and surrounding areas.
Since 1985, Volunteer Kamloops has recruited and refereed volunteers to our members who could be a non profit organization or any one taking on a volunteer project in the community. We are a Registered Charity (132712670RR0001) and a BC Society with our own voluntary Board of Directors.
A key annual event is National Volunteer Week during the third week of April. Through training and networking opportunities, we support the efforts of organizations to provide high quality volunteer programs and opportunities. Our staff members participate on community committees and collaborations to achieve shared needs or address issues that affect voluntary agencies. We advocate on behalf of volunteers and the value of voluntary service in all aspects of our work.
We currently provide three main programs
To link or integrate mental health consumers with community organizations in a way that promotes their involvement and enhances community awareness about various mental health issues.
We would like to thank Interior Health for their support in our twelfth year of providing this program.
The FOCUS Program assists adults 19 and over who are challenged by mental health concerns to find suitable volunteer placements. Conditions may include depression, anxieties, or any other mental health condition.
In addition, the Therapeutic Volunteer Program is a specialized program for those diagnosed with a mental illness and meeting the admission guidelines of the program. It is a long-term program and has limited intake numbers each year.
Anyone is welcome to make an appointment, either directly or through a professional referral, to find out how the program works and what opportunities are available. Our contact information is in the “About us” tab.
The FOCUS Coordinator has extensive contacts with organizations in the community which offer opportunities for personal growth and development through volunteering. Skills development might include team-building, clerical, computer, communication, and interpersonal relationships. Each volunteer creates an action plan that can include career planning, which involves seeking volunteer opportunities that could build skills and lead into future employment in the community.
- Check out current Volunteer Opportunities and learn more about the work of the Organization. You may want to contact them directly if you find what interests you.
- If you would like, you can call for an appointment at 250-372-8313.
- Fill out an application form either beforehand or at our office. Volunteer Application Form(doc); Volunteer Application Form (pdf).
- Based on your interests, we will seek to match you to the volunteer opportunities our members have sent us, or even connect you to an agency that matches how you want to contribute to the community. We provide several referrals that you follow up yourself.
It’s that easy! We also have some organizations’ volunteer application forms and program information on hand for you to get more information about their volunteer position(s).
We acknowledge the support of the Province of British Columbia in funding aspects of this program.
The Mentorship Program is designed to meet the needs of volunteers who want very short-term volunteer opportunities in a supported and supervised way (5 to 30 Hours).
The program is designed for:
- Ages 14+ and up
- Kamloops Restorative Justice Program participants who have agreed to do community service as part of their restitution
- Students needing to complete their graduation volunteer requirements
- People new to the area including new immigrants
- First time volunteers
- International students from TRU
- People needing to develop/enhance employability skills
- Those with disabilities or any other volunteer candidates who might need a trial period to assesssuitability before investing a lot into training
How to get started:
- Book an appointment with the Link Program Coordinator
- Complete the Volunteer Application/Police Information Check (PIC) forms, and drop them off at the RCMP
- Intake Interview: overview of the program, and assessment of your skills and interests to select potential volunteer matches.
- Once the PIC is received back from the RCMP, then the second appointment is booked to complete the volunteer placement process.
A Volunteer Log Form is available to track hours and activities for educational, employment, or community requirements.
We promote volunteer opportunities through:
- Community volunteer/job fairs
- Media articles and interviews
- Our website Current Volunteer Opportunities
- Weekly advertising through our Weekly Volunteer Highlights
- By direct contact and referral of the hundreds of individuals who call or drop in to our office through the year
- Listings of new requests distributed around the community through email, fax, television, radio, and various publications
Basic Volunteer Center roles as outlined by Volunteer BC:
- Connecting people with opportunities to serve
- Promoting and recognizing volunteerism
- Building capacity for effective local volunteering
- Providing leadership on issues relating to volunteerism
Get to know our wonderful Staff, Board Members, and Volunteers!
Board of Directors
Kamloops Community Volunteer Services welcomes new volunteer board members with strong connections in the community. For more information please contact us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Debbie Smith, President
Tara Lyster, Vice President
Wendy Krauza, Treasurer
Steve Baker, Director
Steve sits on the board as the representative of Kamloops Youth Asset Development, which is now named Kamloops Empowering Youth Society. He is recently retired from his role as Principal of Arthur Hatton Elementary School, but continues to be very busy as usual.
Devin Gambler, Director
Justin Bourke, Director
Deniz Demickapi, Director
Focus Program Coordinator – Edith Farrell
Edith is well known to many in Kamloops as an ardent proponent of the value and benefits of volunteering. Her work experience as an employment counselor and case manager in both Barriere and Kamloops involved facilitation of information sessions, career planning and personal development workshops as well as job search assistance. She undertook extensive professional development throughout that period, and demonstrated skills in working with people of diverse backgrounds and personal circumstances.
At the same time, she undertook long-term volunteer roles with the Provincial Emergency Program as a counselor; with the Red Cross Child Abuse Prevention Program, and as a board member with Community Futures in Kamloops and the University College of the Cariboo (now TRU) Advisory group in Barriere. After moving to Kamloops she continued to volunteer for many groups and causes, with one such role being with Volunteer Kamloops.
She speaks from personal experience about the usefulness of volunteering and showing dedication and commitment in that role as a stepping-stone to employment. It was due to exactly those characteristics as a volunteer with Volunteer Kamloops, as well as her knowledge and human relations skills, that she was successful in applying for the role of Coordinator of the Focus program in 2003.
The FOCUS program continues to serve many clients each year with mental health challenges. The more intensive Therapeutic Volunteer Program has also been successful in assisting clients move toward their personal goals, and in several cases leading to employment.
Through her 15 years with this organization she has been recognized as a key component of Volunteer Kamloops in the community.