Frequently Asked Questions

Volunteering is an exciting and challenging experience. If you’re a first-time volunteer or just new to our network (a group of community volunteers), you may have some questions. And we have answers!

Select a question from the list below to learn more.

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I am thinking about volunteering. What should I consider?

First, assess whether you have time to commit to volunteering. Would it be weekly, monthly, occasionally? Think about your interests, skills, and career plans – this will help us find a place where your skills can shine, and you can gain experience in your areas of interest.

How old do I have to be to volunteer at a Réseau Compassion Network organization that has a volunteer program?
Some organizations will accept volunteers starting at age 12 and/or going into Grade 7. You will have to check on age requirements with your preferred organization.
What type of references do I need for my application form?

You require references from people who have known you for at least three months and are from different aspects of your life (teachers, co-workers, group leaders, supervisors, or colleagues). Always ask permission to use someone as a reference and provide a current, daytime phone number. References from family members are not accepted.  It might be helpful to talk about references from out of province/country – often volunteers are new Canadians looking for an opportunity to put something local on their resume. For that matter, it’s also helpful to mention when they can ask for a reference in return!

Do I need a Criminal Record check and a Child Abuse Registry check?

All volunteers 18 years and older will require a Criminal Record Check, Child Abuse Registry Check and Adult Abuse Registry Check to be completed if there is a placement with volunteering at one of our Members Organization.

Criminal Record Checks can be obtained online at or in person at Winnipeg Police Headquarters located at 245 Smith Street.

If you are volunteering to satisfy school credits or practicum, you must go to the Winnipeg Police Headquarters for the Criminal Record Check and to the Child Protection Office for the Child Abuse Registry Check and Adult Abuse Registry Check.

I’m on a student visa. Can I volunteer?


What level of language and literacy do I need to successfully volunteer?

Because many of our placements require interactions with others, we ask our volunteers to be able to follow directions, give directions and to express themselves clearly and concisely in English or French if the organization in question is designated bilingual. Sometimes there are opportunities in other languages, as well, like Ukrainian, Cree, or Ojibway. We have found a benchmark of Level 8 or higher works well for our volunteer placements in reading; writing; listening and speaking.

Do I need any special immunizations to volunteer?

We encourage all volunteers to get vaccinated against the seasonal flu because some of the people that we support within our organizations may be vulnerable to respiratory tract illnesses.

And, all member organizations of Réseau Compassion Network have a mandatory COVID vaccination protocol in place for volunteers.

Is there a time commitment?

We want to meet your needs by accommodating your busy schedule, but some of our organizations require a minimum commitment, for example one shift per week or 40 hours over a four-month period. Shifts are 1-3 hours depending on the placement.

What are a volunteer’s responsibilities?

Volunteers are expected to arrive at the agreed-upon time. If you must be absent, you should call as soon as possible. Vacation notice should be given to the volunteer coordinator at least two weeks in advance. Volunteers must be appropriately dressed at all times. Responsibilities will vary according to the role you are assigned, but you’ll always know ahead of time what is expected of you.

Do Réseau Compassion Network organizations have opportunities for students during the summer months?

Yes, some members do. We encourage students to look into their preferred organization to see if this applies. If so, you are encouraged to apply in early June as spaces fill up quickly.