For all volunteer inquires, please contact the SOY at 416-324-5077 or [email protected]
Volunteers are adult members from the community who help SOY provide programs and services. SOY strives to recruit volunteers who represent the full diversity of our queer and trans communities. This includes age, ability, class, colour, ethnicity, gender identity, race and sexuality.
Youth participants in SOY groups are welcome to help out at groups they attend. Youth helpers help with setting up the room, preparing food and cleaning up, or other tasks as necessary. Youth helpers remain participants and continue to actively partake in programming and events.
Mentors are queer and trans (or queer-positive and trans-positive) adults, 26 years of age or older.
In Community Mentoring, adult mentors are matched with a young person in a one-to-one relationship that may last for a few months or for several years. How they spend their time together is based on the needs of the young person, and the interests and skills of the mentor. Mentors and youth generally get together about once a week and may go out for coffee and conversation, attend a community event or cook and share a meal together.
In Housing Mentoring, we arrange for a young person to live in the home of a supportive adult mentor. The actual nature of the arrangement may vary; in some cases, youth may be paying all their own expenses, but getting support from the mentor in whose home they live. In other cases, the young person may almost become a member of the mentor’s family.
All mentors undergo a thorough orientation and screening process before they are eligible to be matched with a youth. Mentors must agree to program policies that define the parameters of mentor-youth relationships. Mentors also receive ongoing support and training once they are accepted into the program.
If you are an adult who is interested in becoming a community mentor, or you can provide housing for a young person, please call Leslie, the Program Coordinator, at (416) 324-5082 or e-mail soy[email protected]sherbourne.on.ca to begin the orientation and screening process.
SOY works to match group volunteers with the group with which they most closely identify. Therefore, these opportunities are available only on a very limited basis, and depend on the needs of the group, as well as the capacity of the staff coordinator.
Volunteers for SOY events are asked to perform various tasks as required for the various exciting events that SOY organizes through the year. This includes such things as promotion, assisting with the planning of events, setting up, helping to coordinate and run the events. Enthusiasm, confidence, communication skills, creativity, problem-solving skills, and teamwork are essential. Involvement varies depending on the event and the volunteer’s level of interest and availability.
Our annual Bowlathon is SOY’s primary and sustaining fundraiser. Every year, volunteers raise money with their teams and then join us for bowling, costumes, community, and fun!
Form or join a team
Get together with some friends and form a team of up to 8 bowlers. Then, start fundraising! Each team aims to raise $1,000 in pledges.
Sponsor youth bowlers
Every year, we reserve lanes at the bowlathon for SOY youth to participate in the event. If you are unable to attend the bowlathon in person, sponsoring a youth team is a great way to support the event!
Share the invitation
Invite your friends and colleagues to join the fun by sharing this event.
The Bill 7 Award is a registered charitable trust that awards scholarships to gay, lesbian, bisexual, trans, 2-spirited and queer students who are in financial need and studying at any post-secondary institution in Ontario to attain their first degree or diploma.
Trustees of Bill 7 are formal members of the Trust and are legally responsible for it. Trustees are volunteers who are appointed by the two signatory organizations of Bill 7, Supporting Our Youth and the Community One Foundation (formerly the Lesbian & Gay Community Appeal). Trustees are responsible for the implementation of the Award, fundraising and investment strategies, screening applicants, and presenting the bursaries.
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CONFIDENTIALITY: SOY and supervising staff must be informed of any safety threats, to self or others, and of harmful behaviour, and will act on this information appropriately. In addition it is everyone’s role to stop and prevent gossip. Information of a gossip nature that is overheard by accident should not be shared.
Personal information about a youth that is shared with a SOY staff or volunteer is protected by Ontario privacy legislation. We are not permitted to share information with anyone outside of SOY/Sherbourne Health Centre without the individual’s written* permission – this includes their parents, other family members, caregivers, etc. (*In some cases, verbal permission may be given; however, signed permission is generally required). SOY staff work as a team. Challenges that arise during a group will be discussed by the facilitation team in order to assure we are adequately responding to the needs of group members. Information may be shared with a staff supervisor or other member of the SOY/Sherbourne Health Centre team on a need-to-know basis, in order to provide the necessary care/support. The privacy of individuals seeking support at SOY will continue to be protected and respected according to Ontario provincial privacy legislation.
NON-DISCRIMINATION/EQUITY: Sherbourne Health Centre (SHC) prohibits discrimination and harassment and protects the right of individuals to be free of hate activity based on age, ancestry, citizenship, religion, colour, disability, ethnic origin, family status, gender identity, level of literacy, marital status, place of origin, membership in a union or staff association, political affiliation, race, receipt of public assistance, record of offences, sex, sexual orientation, or any other personal characteristics by or within the organization.
We will treat each other with dignity, care and respect. We will be sensitive to and educate ourselves about individual and group differences. We will honour everyone’s right to self-determination and agree to support people in making their own personal choices.
RELATIONSHIPS – BOUNDARIES: SOY encourages friendly relations between volunteers and those they support. However, it is of utmost importance to remain aware of appropriate boundaries. As with paid staff, SOY expressly prohibits relationships of a romantic or sexual nature between volunteers and participants in the program they volunteer for, as well as between supervisors and those they supervise. Therefore, volunteers are not to initiate romantic or personal invitations to youth participants, or accept them from youth. For example, volunteers (other than those formerly involved in the SOY Mentoring Program) are not to invite participants home or go to the home of participants.
We agree to maintain respectful and professional relationship boundaries during the course of our volunteer work.
ACCOUNTABILITY: Supervision guarantees accountability for the performance of assigned responsibilities, provides an opportunity for feedback and guidance, and assistance and support in our role as volunteers. As volunteers, we agree to take direction and access support from staff supervisors during the course of our work.
ALCOHOL/DRUG USE: We understand that being under the influence of alcohol or drugs may interfere with our ability to positively engage with youth. We therefore agree to the following: not to perform our volunteer duties while under the influence of drugs or alcohol; not to provide a youth with illegal substances or encourage their use; not to participate with a youth in alcohol consumption.
We understand that failure to adhere to any and all parts of this code may result in suspension from our volunteer duties and/or termination of our volunteer relationship with Sherbourne Health Centre and its program, Supporting Our Youth.