Volunteer/Practicum

Volunteers Make Life Better

ARBI was founded by volunteers and has a long and proud history of engaging volunteers and practicum students to help give brain injury survivors the best life possible.

ARBI welcomes volunteers into a variety of roles engaging directly with our clients or in other areas of the organization, such as working in the office or assisting with events. Practicum students come to ARBI from various post-secondary institutions to secure an experience that is meaningful in working towards their educational pursuits.

ARBI is accredited by the Alberta Council of Disability Services (ACDS) for its rehabilitation program that blends healthcare professionals and volunteers. Therapists and rehabilitation team members train our client-involved volunteers and practicum students to carry out components of our clients’ treatment plans. This unique team approach results in the formation of incredible relationships between our clients, our multidisciplinary team, and members of the community, all while focusing on our clients’ unique goals—enabling them to live their best possible life.

ARBI volunteers are caring, committed individuals who make everything we do possible. Thank you to our amazing volunteers!

Do you want to…

WORK DIRECTLY WITH OUR CLIENTS?

Join our team as a rehabilitation volunteer and give brain injury and stroke survivors a second chance at life. Rehabilitation volunteers receive hands-on training from our multidisciplinary therapy team and work alongside our clients on their customized treatment plans. These unique rehabilitation plans can include physio, occupational, speech, and recreational therapies in one-on-one or group sessions. Volunteers provide encouragement and support to clients as they work towards their goals. Imagine watching someone take their first step after they were told they would never walk again. You can be a part of this incredible journey and share in our clients’ successes as a rehabilitation volunteer.

We ask that you bring a positive attitude, compassion, and strong interpersonal skills. This is a great opportunity for retirees, students pursuing medical careers, or anyone with daytime availability wanting to give back and make a difference. You must be available at least once a week (Monday–Friday) for a minimum of 2.5 hours and able to commit for a minimum of six months. Rehabilitation volunteer shifts are typically 3.5 hours in the morning (8:30 am–12:00 pm) or afternoon (12:30 pm–4:00 pm).

FULFILL A PRACTICUM?

ARBI provides practicum placements for post-secondary students. In doing so we are supporting the education and growth of our community members. Most of our students are pursuing careers in rehabilitation, disability support, or medically related fields.

We have established extensive partnerships with educational institutions through which we are able to provide future healthcare professionals with placements to enhance their classroom learning with a practical application. The number of hours associated with the practicum, the grading mechanism, and the intensity of the therapeutic expectations varies between programs and institutions.

HELP FUNDRAISE?

Utilize your unique skills and talents to help raise awareness and funds for brain injury rehabilitation in a variety of ways. We are always looking for upbeat, positive individuals available to help plan, organize, and execute special events at ARBI and in the community. ARBI also welcomes office volunteers to provide administrative support such as data entry, record maintenance, and reporting. If you are an excellent communicator you can assist the fund development team with research and grant applications, or donor recruitment and management, and advocate for those living with an acquired brain injury.

For more information on where you might be a great fit, please contact our Volunteer Team:
Main Line: 403.242.7116 | Email: volunteer@arbi.ca

Volunteer Stories

Hear what volunteering with ARBI is like from our committed volunteers.

“My experience as an ARBI volunteer has brought me many valuable experiences; however, the most important thing ARBI brought me was the opportunity to really get to know the clients and the rehabilitation experience. Over the years I have had the fortune of working with six very different clients and it was a truly valuable experience to see how each of them approached their time at ARBI in their own individual way. What was common across all the individuals I worked with was that each of them was very determined to make a change in their lives. Seeing and experiencing the gradual change week by week was truly a surreal experience and one that I am unlikely to have again as a physician (15 seconds per patient is not enough time to get to know someone). In my future career as a physician, I will work with many individuals with brain injuries and I am relieved to know that after they leave the hospital, they can still do their rehabilitation in the caring and capable hands of the staff and volunteers at ARBI.”

– Colin, ARBI Volunteer

“Here at ARBI, I have had the honour of working with many clients. I have learned that a disability does not define individuals and they work very hard to adapt physically and cognitively in improving their quality of life. They say that “It isn’t about how you get knocked down but rather how you get back up” and the same analogy applies here; these individuals are on their way to getting back up.”

– Hassan, ARBI Volunteer

“To volunteer at ARBI is, to me, being engaged in a very special shared human experience. Volunteers, of course, give the gift of their time, and with that a caring responsibility, a desire to help, a willingness to learn, community commitment, and especially patience.

For my time at ARBI that experience means a few hours most weeks during the summer when I help out with the gardening group. Together, my client and I feel the soil, push the seeds deep into the black dirt, pour water over our prospective growth while watching the tiny vegetable seedlings stretch their new wings out of the soil’s darkness. We both get excited when colourful blossoms of the flowers start to open and share their radiant beauty, and in early fall when the bountiful harvest is shared amongst all.

To be engaged is to be part of that client’s day for a few minutes, or for a few hours, and by doing so, offering respite to the client’s regular caregiver. To share in friendship through conversation that can take many forms—words, a thumbs-up, a hug, a smile, a touch of confidence on the arm, a slightly raised eyebrow or an enlightened gaze.

When I had the opportunity to work one-on-one with a client, the physical and language activity could be perceived as routine or highly repetitive, but there were times when the client would ride that bicycle a few more rotations, take a longer stride down the hallway, extend their arm a little bit further or want to practice that phrase again and again and again. These are cherished moments of smiles.

What I have learned most of all while volunteering at ARBI is the incredible strength of spirit that carries the ARBI clients forward and that strength of spirit, well, that’s a beautiful human experience that is shared throughout ARBI.”

– Julie, ARBI Volunteer