Volunteer Peer Support Program

The Volunteer Peer Support (VPS) program is one of the initial shared priorities for the OHT-N. This program serves older adults experiencing persistent complex problems and conditions, who may have difficulty navigating and accessing the supports available to them in the community. 

Trained volunteers are matched with seniors and, as appropriate, their caregivers, delivering a method of support  known as WrapAround. This program is designed to help participants get the most out of local services.  Volunteers and program participants work together to achieve the participant's goals in areas such as housing, safety, finances, spirituality, social connection, recreation and more.  

About WrapAround

WrapAround is an effective approach to helping older adults and caregivers with complex needs to achieve their goals. Teams of family, friends and professionals that the older adult or caregiver choose come together to 'wrap' participants in community supports. 

The participant’s strengths, culture and vision for a better life drive the process from beginning to end. Participants choose what they want to work on and how fast they want to work on it. In this way, people are empowered to have voice and choice in planning the care and support they require.

 Is the Volunteer Peer Support program right for you?

If you live in Northumberland County and are facing complex health issues and difficult life situations that impact your quality of life and ability to cope, the Volunteer Peer Support program - using the WrapAround method of support - may be for you.

The WrapAround process
  • An older adult/family-driven, team-based and holistic planning process that develops one individualized plan. 
  • Builds on the strengths of the older adult and their team members.
  • Develops strategies that the entire team takes on to effectively address the needs identified by the older adult on a daily basis.
  • This process blends the older adult’s formal services and natural supports into one team that work together to support the implementation of the older adult’s plan.  
How it works
  • The team brainstorms strategies or options that build on the strengths and resources of the older adult and their team
  • Key to the success of WrapAround is that the older adult picks who will be on their team, what they want to work on, the strategies that they want in their Action Plan and how fast they want to work on the plan.
  • The older adult’s team meets on average once a month to both develop and then review their Action Plan. 
 Eligibility to access Volunteer Peer Support program services
  • Older adults residing in Northumberland County, and
  • Are experiencing multiple complex and persistent needs/conditions or are caring for someone with multiple complex and persistent needs/conditions, and
  • Are agreeable to a WrapAround process, and
  • Have not effectively had their needs addressed and met by the efforts of service provider
 Life Domains
  • Housing
  • Safety
  • Financial
  • Spiritual
  • Health
  • Family
  • Social
  • Recreation
  • Culture/Values
  • Mobility
  • Legal

Here are some of the ways the Volunteer Peer Support Program could support you:

  • Improve your quality of life
  • Able to remain in your own home
  • Give you "voice and choice" in planning your care and life
  • Improve your hope for the future
  • Improve your sense of control over your own life
  • Improve your supports and involvement in the community
  • Broaden your inter-personal connections in the community
  • Have people on your team who appreciate your strengths instead of focusing on your deficits
 How to access the Volunteer Peer Support program

Community Care Northumberland (CCN) oversees the Volunteer Peer Support Program in partnership with the OHT-N.

  • Are you a community agency looking to refer a potential participant to the Volunteer Peer Support program? Complete our referral form.  
  • Are you a community member interested in being referred or referring someone you care for to the program? Please contact:

Kelly Peterson

Volunteer Peer Support Program Coordinator
905-372-7356 ext.102

Become a Peer Support Volunteer 

While we are not currently accepting applications for new volunteers, we welcome all expressions of interest! Please contact us to have your name added to the list for future training intakes:

Kelly Peterson
Volunteer Peer Support Program Coordinator

Role of the Peer Support Volunteer

Peer Support Volunteers are matched with older adults or caregivers to support their involvement in the WrapAround process and help them get the most out of local services. The goal is to help keep older people in their homes by increasing their capacity to attend to self-care and sustaining their involvement in their communities.

Volunteers will attend Community Care Northumberland (CCN) volunteer orientation and WrapAround training sessions and be part of a Community of Practice for WrapAround facilitators and coaches. Volunteers are expected to embrace CCN's mission, vision and core values and WrapAround's core values and practice principles.

WrapAround core values and practice principles

Core Values

  • Be respectful and to be respected
  • The right to be listened to, heard and understood
  • "No blame, no shame" - what happens in the past stays in the past - focus is on now and the future
  • Know that you are a sacred part of creation and recognize that you have a purpose
  • Person- or family- directed
  • The right to care and support even when the person is dealing with multiple and ongoing complex needs
  • The right to be part of and contribute to one's community
  • Truth and honesty

Practice Principles

  • Family access, voice and ownership
  • Team-based
  • Natural supports
  • Community ownership, community-basedand community connectedness
  • Culturally competent
  • Individualized
  • Needs-based
  • Strength-based
  • Safety first
  • Persistence, never give up
  • Outcome-based, do what works
  • Communication and planning
  • Agency supports and partnerships
  • Partners and funding governments

In WrapAround, the Volunteer works with the participant and their team through 4 phases:

  • Phase 1 - Engagement: to engage the person and their family into developing a working relationship - enabling the Volunteer to be as effective and efficient as possible.
  • Phase 2 - Planning: to create a plan using the WrapAround planning process that invites multiple perspectives, builds trust and a shared vision among team members, and is consistent with the WrapAround values and practice principles.
  • Phase 3 - Implementation: to monitor and review progress and successes, and meet with the team regularly to make changes to the plan as required. The activities of this phase are repeated until the goals and vision have been achieved and the planning process is no longer needed.
  • Phase 4 - Transition: to guide the team in focusing on the transition of the participant out of the formal WrapAround process by reviewing strengths and need and identifying services and supports to meet those needs.
  • Experience supporting older adults preferred
  • Completion of 4-day WrapAround training
  • Excellent communication & listening skills
  • Empathetic and caring
  • Ability to form professional & comfortable working relationships with a wide range of people
  • Knowledge of community support groups(e.g. faith communities, seniors' programs and service clubs) and Northumberland County health and social services an asset
  • Other volunteer training an asset
  • Adherence to the organization's COVID-19 vaccine policy (must be fully vaccinated)
  • Up to date vulnerable sector check
  • The opportunity to provide valuable support in improving the “quality of life” for older adult residents of Northumberland
  • Volunteer training and education providing opportunities to expand knowledge and skills
  • Personal growth and satisfaction found in contribution
  • Other benefits that are unique to each volunteer
While there is potentially high risk due to the vulnerability of the patients and families and the volunteer being required to facilitate with often limited support and supervision – this is mitigated by rigorous training, which includes a strong focus on establishing and maintaining safety, a volunteer Community of Practice, and that all WrapAround teams are co-facilitated.
Time Commitment

The average volunteer time is normally 8-10 hours per month.

Contact Us

Are you interested in volunteering with the Peer Support Program, or would you like to learn more? Please contact:

Kelly Peterson
Volunteer Peer Support Program Coordinator