Citizen Advocacy is a small, but powerful, registered charity in Ottawa. It establishes matches between volunteers and people living with a disability to ensure participation in weekly activities, offer companionship, involvement in community life, provide emotional support and practical everyday help.
As a result, those supported through a match experience reduced isolation and vulnerability. This has a positive and profound impact on everyone involved. Citizen Advocacy supports people with all types of disabilities: physical, intellectual, mental, psychiatric or age-related disabilities.
In Stittsville there are three residents with disabilities who are currently matched with volunteers who meet with them in the community each week. However, Citizen Advocacy is now looking for more volunteers to be matched with people in Stittsville on their waiting list.
For example, Pete is 30 years old; he lives in Stittsville and is well supported by his mother and personal support workers. However, he does not have what we all take for granted, a friend to spend time with him outside his home. Although he has limited communication abilities, he loves people and would really benefit from hanging out with a buddy who shares some of his interest such as playing Nintendo games, music, swimming and animals. Pete has been waiting over four years for a volunteer.
If you enjoy spending time with people and have an hour or two a week to spare Citizen Advocacy would love to hear from you. As a volunteer you need to be over the age of 18 and be able to make a minimum commitment of 12 months to this role.
For the person with a disability, being matched results in increased self-esteem, higher participation in community life and a reduction in isolation. They feel accepted for who they are.
If you are interested in being becoming a volunteer the first step is to attend a one-hour, no-commitment information session at Citizen Advocacy’s office at 312 Parkdale Ave. The next few sessions are as follows:
- Thursday February 26th – 6:00 pm
- Tuesday March 10th – 12:30 pm
- Monday March 23rd – 6:00 pm
- Wednesday April 8th – 6:00 pm
(Maria Redpath is a Community Engagement Coordinator with Citizen Advocacy, and a Stittsville resident.)