COVID-19 Update

VO is recruiting and deploying volunteers to respond to the volunteer needs specific to COVID-19 in Ottawa, Prescott-Russell, Lanark County and Renfrew County while ensuring proper screening and training protocals to safeguard the health of those volunteering and those they are assisting. Please see the intake portals for volunteers, for members, and for other agencies on our hompage. VO’s COVID 19 volunteer deployment program is supported by the Government of Canada’s Emergency Community Support Fund and the Ottawa Community Foundation.

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COVID-19 Members Update

Last updated: July 26, 2020

eNewsletter/04. COVID

Volunteer Ottawa staff are working remotely while continuing to provide services to members. We want to hear from you about how we can help and any special requirements you may have. If you have any urgent needs that can be relayed to our volunteer pool, or have any questions, do not hesitate to contact Sophie at

We know that volunteer roles and not-for-profit needs are changing rapidly and that your ability to respond to volunteer applications may be limited. In view of this, we would we ask that you close any volunteer opportunities that you may have open on our website that are no longer available, while continuing to post any new volunteer needs as they arise.


As a precaution, in accordance with the Ontario Ministry of Health Guidelines, we recommend organizations take the following steps to prevent risk and safeguard volunteers and clients participating in program activities:

  • VO has posted health and safety protocols. Feel free to use this information and adapt for your own needs.

  • Ensure hand washing stations are available and accessible. Encourage staff, volunteers and visitors to thoroughly and regularly wash their hands and keep hands away from their face.
  • Remind volunteers of the most effective ways to stay healthy by posting or distributing informational posters.

  • Post signage and advise volunteers who are ill to stay home and postpone their volunteer activities.

  • Ottawa Public Health’s Novel Coronavirus web page provides information and updates to residents and contains answers to many frequently asked questions.

  • Keeping Safe During the Pandemic 


Volunteer Ottawa is planning to hold all of our workshops in person at our training facility, while respecting Public Health directives regarding allowable group size and physical distance requirements. We can also accommodate participants online via Zoom, using any web-enabled device such as a computer, tablet, or a smartphone. Click here to learn more about our protocols.

If you have any questions, please contact Maria Lahiffe, Education Officer, by email or by phone at 613-736-5266 x 114.

Here are some other training opportunities for you to consider:


  • Volunteer Ottawa blog has some great information about Mental Health and COVID-19.

  • Volunteer Canada has a number of resources on volunteer management and engagement and not-for-profit support.

  • VolunteerPro has created a guide on managing uncertainty.

  • The Ontario Non-Profit Network has many resources to help not-for-profits respond to and recover from COVID-19.

  • Volunteer Canada's blog - Social Distancing in the Social Sector: The Volunteering Lens of COVID-19.

  • The COVID-19 Fundraising Template Kit for Nonprofits - Information, research and resources for fundraisers and their leaders:


  • Post Pandemic Business Resumption Checklist

  • The Government of Canada’s $350 million Emergency Community Support Fund is now open. The Emergency Community Support Fund supports community organizations helping vulnerable people during the COVID-19 crisis. Community organizations may seek funds to undertake a wide range of activities and to serve a wide range of vulnerable groups.