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Volunteer at AVI

If you would like to volunteer for AIDS Vancouver Island, here are some things we would like you to know before you join us.

AVI relies on the generous contribution of  volunteers so that we are able to offer assistance to people living with HIV and HCV (hepatitis C), to educate the public about matters related to HIV and HCV, and to operate the Needle Exchange in Victoria.  There are a number of designated volunteer opportunities for you to become involved with us. We ask that you prepare your mind to open and that you bring compassion to your work. We ask all volunteers to join us in AVI's practice based in harm reduction and to support the sex positive philosophy of AVI.  If you would like to get involved with us, please read on!

How do you become an AVI Volunteer?

  • Volunteer Orientation  A number of times each year, AVI presents an information session, Volunteering at AVI, for prospective volunteers for you to learn about our services and the volunteer options available to you. Here you will have an opportunity to explore the issues the related to privacy and confidentiality and consider the need develop appropriate boundaries, with the support of experienced staff.
  • The Volunteer Application Form Start off by submitting a request for our two-page application form. This . Some of the questions are personal. This form is confidential. We recommend that you spend some time reflecting on and completing the application.
  • Core Training We provide volunteers with a core training (volunteer orientation) program which consists of two courses in addition to the orientation above:  HIV/AIDS Basics and Hepatitis C Basics. We require that all volunteers participate in these courses which are offered three or four times over the course of a year in conjunction with the orientation. 
  • The Screening Interview After you have attended 'Volunteering at AVI', we will arrange an interview with you. The interview provides you with more information about AVI, helps us learn a little bit about you, your interests and skills, and when you are available for volunteering and helps us decide how you might make the best contribution to AVI while satisfying your needs to be an effective volunteer. The most important things for you to consider are what type of volunteer activity would suit your skills, your learning goals and your schedule.

More you might like to know ... most common FAQs?

  • How much volunteer time do I need to give?

Some projects or events require volunteers for a short term.  For regular volunteer positions, AVI usually asks for a minimum six-month time commitment. Most volunteer positions are scheduled the same time each week for an average of two to four hours per week. However, if your schedule is sporadic, we are still able to work with you.  At this time, there are almost no volunteer positions that occur outside of business hours or on weekends.  This may change when the fixed-site needle exchange services are back in operation, so please check in with us if you aren't available during business hours.

  • Can I volunteer before I take Core Training?

Yes, some volunteer jobs can be started prior to Core Training as they involve on-the-job orientation and volunteers can undertake self-directed learning. When volunteers start their work prior to Core Training they are still expected to complete training when it is offered.

  • Can I get involved with Street Outreach?

There are no street outreach positions available at this time for volunteers.  Volunteering at AVI's offices can put you in contact with those who use AVI's needle exchange services.

  • ‚ÄčDoes AVI need contributions of my professional skills?

Yes!  If you are interested in donating your professional skills in a voluntary capacity, we would like to discuss our options.  We have ongoing needs for volunteers with complementary medical practices such as acupuncture, massage and naturopathy and we also appreciate contributed services such as graphic design, program evaluation or event management.  To pursue this option, please contact James Boxshall (contact info below) and describe what you have in mind.

What are some examples of things I can do as an AVI volunteer?

AVI Volunteer Opportunities

  • Reception Reception volunteers provide the first contact for people coming in to the office. They greet visitors, answer and direct telephone calls, process mail, and complete office tasks. Some photocopying and faxing may be involved. Two and three hour shifts are available.
  • Fund Development Volunteers are needed to help AVI with fundraising events, like Dining Out for Life.
  • Hot Lunch Program The Hot Lunch Program serves a free, hot lunch to registered members who live with HIV and/or HCV, five days a week. The program is supported by volunteers, who serve meals, do clean up and assist with distribution of supports to members.
  • Additional Volunteer Opportunities Current opportunities are presented at Volunteer Orientation Sessions

Still Need to Know More?

If you have any further questions about volunteering at AIDS Vancouver Island, please contact the Manager of Volunteer Services, at (250) 384-2366 or by E-mailing James Boxshall, at Or, if you're ready initiate the process now, simply fill out a request and we'll notify you of the next set of orientation and training sessions. We look forward to hearing from you!

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