Use your cancer experience to help others
Peer support volunteers know what it’s like to live with cancer because they are cancer survivors or were caregivers to someone with cancer. Through CancerConnection, our nationwide telephone support program, peer support volunteers offer encouragement, compassion and practical support – from diagnosis, throughout treatment and beyond – to the person living with cancer and their family.
The Society also offers adult support groups in many communities across Canada. The types of groups available in each area may vary. Some groups are specific to one type of cancer, while others may offer general support for people living with cancer.
Peer support volunteers are matched based on factors such as type of cancer, sex, treatment, side effects, relationship to the person who is diagnosed, age and family situation. All volunteers receive extensive training and ongoing support.
As a peer support volunteer, you will use your own experience with cancer to provide emotional support, equip clients with a greater understanding of their cancer experience and the resources available to them, and enhance the quality of life of people touched by cancer.
A snapshot of what you do
- Help peer support staff determine if you are an appropriate match for a specific client.
- Upon being matched, contact a client within 48 hours, unless a later time is arranged.
- Help clients identify the problems they are facing regarding their emotional well-being and the practical problems they are experiencing related to their cancer.
- Listen to clients and provide empathetic support.
- Encourage people asking for medical advice to discuss their concerns with their healthcare team. Refrain from giving medical advice.
- Arrange a schedule of support visits/telephone calls with the client that is mutually appropriate.
Your skills and knowledge
- able to express feelings warmly and sensitively
- works well with a variety of people from different backgrounds
- responds to what others have said in a non-judgmental way
- able to help others understand their own circumstances better and solve their own problems
- builds trust and openness with others
- must be at least 18 years of age
- have had cancer or cared for someone who was diagnosed with cancer at least one year ago, but not more than 5 years ago
- able to share your personal cancer journey in an appropriate manner
- supportive, empathetic and positive
How this job is time well spent by you
- virtual (can be done from your own home)
- flexible days and times
- contribution to your own physical and mental health by participating in a fulfilling volunteer role
- gain knowledge about the programs and services offered by the Canadian Cancer Society
- invest your time in something of personal importance