Volunteers make a difference every day in Guelph. It’s what makes us a caring community. When you invest your time, skills and enthusiasm in volunteering, you help make our city a vibrant and rewarding place to live, work and play. The City of Guelph offers a wide variety of volunteer opportunities for students 14+, adults and seniors.
- Learn to Swim program volunteers are needed for evening and weekend classes at West End Community Centre and Victoria Road Recreation Centre.
- Increase self-confidence
- Meet people with similar interests and become a valuable member of a team
- Gain experience and develop new skills
- Explore career choices and enhance your resume
- Contribute to your community
Why it matters
- It’s vital for strong, inclusive, and resilient communities
- It assists organizations in reaching their goals
- It helps builds relationships
- It’s fundamental to a healthy and democratic society in Canada
Whether you’re looking for a short term project or a long term commitment, there are many ways you can get involved.
How to volunteer in recreation
- Meet the minimum age requirement of 14 years/
- Decide which program area interests you the most (children, youth, adults or seniors)/
- Complete and submit an application online. Paper forms are available upon request at all community centres. You will be contacted regarding the area of interest you selected.
- Complete an in-person or virtual interview.
- Complete the necessary online training that will be sent following the interview (other methods of training available) and the in person orientation.
- Review dates and times for your scheduled volunteer position.
Opportunities with the City of Guelph
The City of Guelph offers a wide variety of volunteer opportunities in programs, special events or parks programs. Whether you would like to utilize your special skills, explore career choices, meet new people or become a valuable member of a volunteer team, we offer volunteer opportunities in a variety of areas throughout the year. Minimum 14 years of age to volunteer. For more information email [email protected].
- Active Start and FUNdamentals program volunteers: Are you interested in supporting children ages 4-12 with disabilities? We’re looking for volunteers to assist with the Active Start and FUNdamentals. These are physical literacy programs that teach basic sport and movement skills such as running, jumping, catching, throwing through active games and activities. Volunteers will be paired with participants to support their participation.
- Learn to Swim: Volunteering with the Learn to Swim program increases your leadership and swimming skills in a structured setting to further developing experience. If you are friendly, enthusiastic and enjoy being in and around the pool while interacting and encouraging children to participate, this is for you! Volunteers must be 14 years of age or have completed a leadership program.
- Camps: Volunteering with camps is an excellent way to do something great for the community while having fun and obtaining your required community service hours for high school! Volunteers must attend a mandatory orientation and training. Must be 14 years or older to apply. (2 Full day volunteers per camp location per week; 6 Swim volunteers per day/week depending on camp location)
- Swim Camp volunteers: Swim Camp volunteers are committed to dedicating their time, friendliness, enthusiasm and support to the Swim Camp program. Through actively participating in an integrated, challenging and accepting environment, both volunteers and campers are offered the opportunity to have fun in the water, take part in water games/activities, and develop their swimming skills.
- Youth leadership: Youth volunteers help make a difference in the community. Volunteer positions include Guelph Youth Council and City programs and services. Students can earn credit towards their community involvement hours.
Evergreen Seniors Community Centre
The City of Guelph and the Guelph Wellington Seniors Association (GWSA) offer many volunteer opportunities, food services, activity group leaders, special events, committees and GWSA Board of Directors.
If you are interested in volunteering with the GWSA, and would like to speak with someone about this, contact the Volunteer Coordinator at 519-823-1291 extension 2096 or by email [email protected].
Evergreen Bistro 683
Join the Evergreen Seniors Community Centre Bistro 683 team Monday to Friday between 9:00 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. assisting one of the following areas providing customer service, making new friends and having fun.
- Coffee volunteer: Volunteer at the hot beverages counter in the dining room throughout the week in the morning or afternoon. This role involves serving hot beverages, cleaning tables and assisting patrons when needed.
- Cash volunteer: Volunteer in the dining room on the cash register throughout the week in the morning or afternoon taking payment from patrons who enjoy lunch, snacks or treats.
- Food preparation and serving: Volunteer in the kitchen assisting the chef with food preparation and serving customer ordering food and eating in or taking on the go.
- Dishwasher: Volunteer in the kitchen assisting with washing dishes using the industrial dishwasher and completing other tasks during the shift.
Other volunteer opportunities
Boards and committees
The City of Guelph relies on about 200 citizens each year to serve on its boards, commissions and committee. Selections are made each June and November. Committee descriptions.
Guelph Civic Museum and McCrae House
Learn about Guelph’s history and share your knowledge with visitors to the Guelph Civic Museum and McCrae House. Museum volunteer opportunities include assisting with programming activities, visitor services, curatorial work, and historic gardening. For more information contact [email protected] or 519-836-1221 extension 2773.
Guelph Public Library
The Guelph Public Library welcomes volunteers to provide more library services to the community. Volunteer opportunities at Guelph Public Library.
River Run Centre
Volunteering at River Run Centre is an exciting way to meet new people and make a significant contribution to our community. River Run Centre’s volunteer opportunities include ushering, ticket collecting, coat check, bar service and more. For more information contact 519-837-5662 extension 2206
Travel Training Program volunteers
Volunteers of the Travel Training Program will be paired with an adult living with a disability in the community. After receiving appropriate training, volunteers will ride a specific, pre-designated transit route with the program participant on a designated day of the week. Throughout this session, volunteers are facilitating and supporting the growth of confidence and independence while practicing safe travel strategies to foster a positive learning environment for both the participant and the volunteer. For more information contact [email protected] or 519-822-1260 extension 3426.
Opportunities in the community
Guelph Humane Society
The Guelph Humane Society is looking for regular shelter volunteers who can commit to at least once weekly to walk, bath, groom, clean and care for strong, exuberant dogs; socialize with their cats or rabbits and play with the kittens. They also need special event volunteers to help with fundraising, participate in tag days and deliver newsletters. For more information visit their Guelph Humane Soiety’s volunteer opportunities page.
The City of Guelph encourages and supports the participation of community members in the work of our neighbourhood groups. As a partner organization in the Guelph Neighbourhood Support Coalition, the City plays an active role in their work; however, community volunteers play the main role in supporting the work of neighbourhood groups. Contact: [email protected] or visit guelphneighbourhoods.org.
Outdoor ice rinks
The Community Ice Rink program brings neighbours together to enjoy outdoor recreational skating close to home. For more information contact 519-837-5628.
The community garden program encourages volunteers to use City parks and other public spaces as locations for fruit, vegetable and pollinator gardens that benefit the community. Find a garden that interests you and volunteer by checking out the community gardens map.
Parks stewards are groups of neighbours who “adopt” and help care for natural or “wild” areas in parks city-wide. Participating in the program is a great way to meet your neighbours and build community, while learning about and gaining experience in caring for natural wild spaces. To get involved visit guelph.ca/parkstewards
Through the work of dedicated volunteers, the Guelph-Wellington branch of the Canadian Red Cross provides a wide range of services for vulnerable people including Meals on Wheels, disaster response, abuse prevention education, healthcare equipment rentals and safety services. For people interested in more information on volunteering with the local branch of the Canadian Red Cross, please contact the Volunteer Resources Coordinator at 519-836-3523.