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Where can I volunteer?

From working directly with patients, to helping raise funds which support the hospital, we offer a wide variety of opportunities for those who wish to make a difference in the lives of our patients, residents and their families.

Volunteers act as ambassadors for the hospital. Our goal is a mutually beneficial placement where volunteers help to enhance the care of our patients and have a fulfilling experience.

For students, opportunities depend on the time of year (summer or school year) and student availability.

Main hospital

With close to 500 inpatients, and thousands of outpatient visits, there are a wide array of volunteer roles in the acute care area of the hospital.
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  • M-wing

    Book carts: volunteers provide reading material to patients waiting in various areas of the hospital
  • Clinics and medical imaging: help with patient flow through the clinic, and help to ease anxiety of a hospital visit, and provide a warm, caring atmosphere
  • Emergency Department: volunteers help with assorted duties, and also help to ease the anxiety of an emergency visit for patients and those who accompany them
  • Family waiting rooms: provide information and general support to family members of patients receiving care or in surgery
  • Geriatric Day Hospital: provide assistance with recreational therapy programs to elderly clients 
  • Gift Shop: work in our beautiful retail store which staff, patients and visitors rely on for their shopping needs.
  • Greeters: provide information and directions at key locations
  • Healthy Stay Volunteer: help to encourage patients to stay as mobile as possible and provide opportunities for socialization
  • Heartpals: those who have had heart surgery provide peer support to heart surgery patients pre- and post-operatively
  • Hospital Orientation & Support Team (HOST): provide information, directions and also walk people to their destination throughout high traffic areas of hospital
  • Same day surgery: provide general support to patients having outpatient surgery, including assisting when discharged
  • Wheelchair service: escort patients in wheelchairs to appointments
  • Volunteer for the Peters-Boyd Academy: help train our medical students. Learn more by watching the video below.

    Help train our medical students

Veterans Centre

Our long-term care facility is home to more than 500 of Canada's war veterans. Volunteers enhance their quality of life in a variety of roles.
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  • Chapel escort in Veterans Centre: volunteers take residents in wheelchairs to faith-based services
  • Coffee socialization: socialize and provide refreshments to veterans during a daily hour of entertainment
  • Creative arts therapies: assist staff and veterans with art, music and horticultural activities
  • Pet therapy: visit designated veterans with a dog. Must be a registered volunteer with a therapy dog organization (ie. Therapeutic Paws of Canada)
  • Recreation therapy: assist staff and veterans with recreational activities i.e. discussion groups, special meal preparations, events and outings
  • Resident visiting: provide one-on-one socialization with veterans
  • Wheelchair service: escort veterans to programs, therapies and medical appointments within the centre and hospital
  • Palliative care visiting: provide compassionate visiting to patients and their families in end-of-life situation

Odette Cancer Centre

A regional outpatient cancer treatment facility.
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  • Chemotherapy unit: provide support and assistance to patients receiving chemotherapy treatment
  • Clinic support (including radiation and blood lab): assist with patient flow in the clinic helping to ease anxiety and provide a warm caring atmosphere
  • Information desk: provide directions and assistance to patients and families; prepare and maintain refreshment carts within the centre
  • Patient Education And Research Learning Centre (PEARL): a resource centre which provides information to patients and family members in the form of printed material, internet access, classes, etc.
  • Symptom screening: provide support to patients when completing the electronic screening survey regarding symptoms associated with cancer treatment 

Holland Orthopaedic & Arthritic Centre

Our downtown site specializes in orthopaedics (surgical and non surgical treatment).
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  • Gift shop: provide customer service and sales of assorted sundries and gifts, as well as patient aids and equipment
  • Outpatient department: provide patients with support and encouragement while attending a very busy clinic (i.e. completing forms, provide directions etc.)
  • Outpatient Rehabilitation Department: under the supervision of a physiotherapist, provide verbal encouragement and support to post-operative knee patients re-claiming their mobility
  • Sunnybrook Transition Enhancement Program (STEP): volunteers engage patients in social activities, while they wait to be transferred to another care program in the community

St. John's Rehab

There are several different volunteer positions at St. John's Rehab. We will work with you to find a placement that best matches your interests with the needs of the hospital.
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  • Meal tray delivery
  • Gift shop attendant
  • Chapel porter
  • Physiotherapy porter
  • Administration support
  • Library
  • Nursing unit assistant
  • Special events

Evening and weekend opportunities

Volunteer opportunities are more limited outside of business hours. The following roles are available evening and weekends - the majority in the main hospital.
» Show / hide full list of roles

  • Chapel escort in Veterans Centre: volunteers take residents in wheelchairs to faith-based services
  • Critical care unit family waiting room support: provide information and general support to family members of patients receiving care or in surgery
  • Emergency Department: volunteers help with assorted duties, and also help to ease the anxiety of an emergency visit for patients and those who accompany them
  • Gift Shop: work in our beautiful retail store which staff, patients and visitors rely on for their shopping needs
  • Hospital Orientation & Support Team (HOST): provide information, directions and also walk people to their destination throughout high traffic areas of hospital
  • Resident visiting in the Veterans Centre: provide and enjoy one-on-one socialization with veterans


Volunteer stories

For more, visit www.youtube.com/sunnybrookmedia