Congratulations to Deb Stark, recipient of The June Callwood Outstanding Achievement Award for Voluntarism 2018!

This Award recognizes those who have enriched their communities through voluntary action and extraordinary leadership and creativity. In recognition of June Callwood's exceptional contributions to the province.

As a Board Director for Hospice Wellington over many years, Deb Stark has demonstrated a commitment to hospice client care and those in need at end of life and through bereavement, that is second to none. Deb’s years of work with the organization include Executive oversight of Governance, Nominations and Quality Improvement, with that tenure including the roles of Vice-Chair, Chair and the Past-Chair of the Board of Directors. Deb’s dedication and service to the work of hospice and to the people we serve, has been at a level of excellence that demonstrates a true generosity of spirit, compassion, and commitment to excellence as a volunteer. Congratulations Deb, we’re very proud to have you on our team and thank you!

Pat Hickman (Director of Care), Pat Stuart (Executive Director), Deb Stark, Ann Friendship (Director of Operations, Hospice Wellington




Our volunteers are one of the greatest strengths of our organization. Through their dedication and kindness, we are able to support grief, palliative and caregiver clients and their families throughout Guelph and Wellington County.

Volunteers do not need to be healthcare providers to support others.  Listening is the most valuable skill and responsibility.  Volunteer support may be provided at home, in hospital and in facilities such as nursing homes and Hospice Wellington.  Hospice Wellington volunteers care for people of all ages, backgrounds and with many types of illnesses or losses.

The majority of our approximately 170 volunteers are involved in our community services and programs. These volunteers assist with Wellness Programs, Grief Groups, Caregiver Groups, and/or one-to-one support for palliative, caregiver or bereavement clients in the community. There are also volunteer positions in our residence, such as kitchen support and evening/weekend greeters.

Client volunteers undertake an intensive 33-hour training program which is aligned with the Hospice Palliative Care Ontario (HPCO) standards, and is developed on the guiding principles of the Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Association’s "Model to Guide Hospice Palliative Care", in addition to Hospice Wellington’s service specifications. We are also committed to providing continuing educational opportunities for our volunteers throughout the year, mostly in the form of monthly workshops and Wellness activities.

Here are just a few examples of volunteer roles:

  • Therapeutic Touch® or Reiki volunteer
  • Massage therapy volunteer
  • Palliative visiting/Caregiver respite volunteer
  • Grief or Caregiver Group facilitator volunteer
  • One-to-one client support volunteer
  • Art Therapy program support volunteer
  • Committee volunteer (various committees)
  • Team Captains (communication support)
  • Kitchen volunteer (cooking/baking)
  • Greeter/Residence support volunteer
  • Front Desk volunteer
  • Fundraising Event support volunteer
  • Garden Maintenance volunteer & much, much more!

No matter the role, we appreciate all that our volunteers do!

Is This the Right Volunteer Opportunity for Me?

Successful volunteers are individuals who can explain why they are drawn to this type of work, have some personal knowledge of what it’s like to lose a special person, and are aware of the differences in the way people experience grief and bereavement.  

Our volunteers are able to listen and support, and assure their client that their time together is focused on the client’s situation and support needs. They understand that volunteer work is about creating an accepting and non-judgmental space for conversation and is not a place to vent their own opinions, losses or grievances or to act as a professional healthcare provider.

If you have experienced a recent significant loss in your own life, we ask that you wait one year to apply to become a volunteer. We want to ensure that you have worked through your own loss and are emotionally prepared for the work of a hospice volunteer.

Although tremendously rewarding and meaningful, hospice volunteer work can also be emotionally draining. Successful volunteers develop excellent support systems to nourish their own well-being and have healthy ways of relieving stress.

Becoming a Volunteer

We are fortunate to be able to say that we receive more applications than we have positions, so while we appreciate every application, we are not able to accept everyone into our volunteer program.

The Volunteer Coordinator reviews all applications and contacts those who have the right combination of skills, experience, interests or availability for Hospice Wellington volunteering.  The Volunteer Coordinator will contact successful applicants to arrange interviews.  Applications may be kept on file for up to 4 months. Applicants may be contacted within this timeframe if a more suitable volunteer position becomes available.

Volunteer Application Steps:

  1. Review our website and familiarize yourself with Hospice Wellington’s focus
  2. Complete the volunteer application form Please be aware that we request you to commit to at least one year of volunteering with Hospice Wellington
  3. Attend interview with Volunteer Coordinator, if selected
  4. Provide Criminal Record/Vulnerable Sector Check
  5. Provide 3 references that can be contacted
  6. Provide copy of immunization records verifying immunization to mumps, measles, rubella and varicella (chickenpox), as well as tetanus, diphtheria & pertussis. Flu shots are not mandatory.
  7. Provide copy of 2-step TB (tuberculosis) skin test from within the last year
  8. *Provide driver’s licence number, driver’s abstract and proof of 1 million dollar liability insurance (*if required)
  9. Sign and agree to Hospice Wellington confidentiality and conduct agreement
  10. Complete required Hand-washing and Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) knowledge quizzes
  11. Complete 33-hour client volunteer training course (must complete all sessions), plus any other necessary training for the specific volunteer position. Volunteer training runs two times per year, in the Spring and Fall, and is only open to selected volunteer candidates
  12. Complete post-training review with Volunteer Coordinator
  13. Attend ongoing Continuing Education opportunities

The associated costs of completing the required application steps are to be covered by the volunteer. The police check fee may be waived with an official Hospice Wellington letter.








Class of Spring 2015 Class of Fall 2014