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CHEO's Volunteer Program 

Frequently Asked Questions

How old do I need to be to volunteer at CHEO? 

Applicants must be 16 years-old. 

I often travel during the year. Can I still apply?

Taking a vacation or requiring a leave of absence is acceptable during a volunteer’s involvement. Volunteers with an extended absence of eight weeks or more cannot be guaranteed the same role and/or shift upon return.

Can I offer my time for a short-term activity/organize a group visit, particularly during Holidays?

We appreciate your thoughtfulness in considering CHEO. We seek individuals who can commit to 10 – 12 months. Due to infection prevention guidelines, patient safety requirements, confidentiality needs, privacy rights, etc. large-scale volunteer-specific events are not encouraged.

Can my child volunteer with me?

No, only the person who is registered as a CHEO volunteer can occupy a shift. Friends, children, etc. are not eligible to accompany volunteers onsite.

I would like to bring my pet to visit the patients. Can this be arranged?

CHEO runs a Pet Therapy program in partnership with Ottawa Therapy Dogs. Please contact Ottawa Therapy Dogs for more information.

I am a grade 11 / 12 high school student. Do you accept co-op placements?

Yes. Co-op placements are coordinated by your school, so suggest you start there.

Are job shadow opportunities available?

Volunteer Resources does not offer job shadow opportunities.

My friend works at CHEO. Can I volunteer in her department?

From a labour relations perspective, volunteers cannot perform duties otherwise performed by unionized staff. Volunteers are assigned specific tasks in specific units across CHEO, which is why it’s so important for liability reasons to check with Volunteer Resources.

What is the dress code for volunteers?

Volunteers are ambassadors for the hospital and how they dress reflects on the hospital. An ID badge and vest are issued to all volunteers.

I have submitted an application. How long will it take to be contacted and become a registered volunteer?

When an opportunity becomes available that matches your availability and interests, we will contact you to discuss. Many factors are considered when matching volunteers to a role, including your availability, interests and skills and how they match to our current available opportunities.

What are some of the added benefits to volunteering at CHEO?

  • Complimentary parking, only after your role has been assigned 
  • Access to lockers and a volunteer lounge (including microwave, fridge)
  • Orientation manual, including safety briefings 
  • Garment that clearly indicates “volunteer” must be worn onsite
  • Photo ID badge
  • Communications and Promotions Recognition and social events 
  • Enhancing the patient experience!
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