Student guide: Get out there and volunteer

Spare time can be hard to come by as a student, but take a look at 12 organizations you can help with just a few hours

Volunteering doesn’t just make you feel good. It also looks great on your resume and can provide you with skills that can help with life after graduation. Check out 12 great places to volunteer in Halifax.

Do you have a favourite place to volunteer? Comment below or tweet us @unewsca.


Prescott Group

Prescott Group is a non-profit organization that builds independence in adults with intellectual disabilities by teaching work skills and how to use them.

Opportunities available: Working alongside adults with intellectual disabilities

Qualifications needed: Must be supportive and respectful

Hours: Flexible

Who to contact: Meredith Fillmore

[email protected]

1-902-454-7387 ext. 24


Out of the Cold Emergency Shelter

Out of the Cold Emergency Shelter is a community-based homeless shelter in the winter. They have 15 beds available with an average of four to six volunteers working per night.

Opportunities available: Front-line shift work, food preparation, fundraising, laundry and processing donations.

Deadline: All applicants must attend an orientation session on Sun., Feb. 1.

Qualifications needed: Training provided

Hours: Evening shift: 6:30 p.m. to 1:30 a.m.

Overnight shift: 11:30 p.m. to 6:30 a.m.

Morning shift: 6:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m.

Who to contact: [email protected]



Halifax Sexual Health Centre

The Halifax Sexual Health Centre provides doctors, emergency contraceptives, anonymous HIV testing and counselling. They typically have 10 to 20 weekly volunteers.

Opportunities available: Volunteers have many opportunities to help with front desk reception, clinic support, special projects or the youth advisory committee.

Qualifications needed: Volunteers must support a holistic view of sexuality and health and be supportive and inclusive. They must commit to confidentiality, be able to make a one-year commitment and attend at least one meeting per month.

Hours: Various

How to apply: Download and print this form and drop it off or send it to the email below.

Who to contact: Volunteer co-ordinator at [email protected] or

[email protected] to volunteer with the youth advisory committee

Volunteer Patient Program at Dalhousie

The Volunteer Patient Program at Dalhousie allows volunteers to help first-year medical students learn by practising their communication and non-invasive examination skills.

Opportunities available: Two medical students take the patient’s medical history and practise a physical examination. Examinations are performed under the guidance of a licensed physician. Volunteers can be interviewed, recorded on camera or provide feedback about the experience.

Qualifications needed: You must arrive on time for your scheduled appointment.

Hours: The sessions are for two hours on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons and some mornings throughout the year.

Who to contact: Tricia Cole

Simulated patient educator


[email protected]


Art Gallery of Nova Scotia

The Art Gallery of Nova Scotia is the largest art museum in Atlantic Canada.

Opportunities available: Become a docent and lead school groups through the gallery or become a gallery guide and lead daily public tours. Both volunteer positions interpret art, provide information and encourage dialogue. Other volunteer opportunities are information desk attendant, gallery shop attendant, special events, family Sundays and sales associate.

Qualifications needed: In the training provided, volunteers listen to guest speakers, conduct research and receive art workshops. Volunteers must be hardworking and dedicated to the arts.

Hours: Docents meet Monday mornings and guides provide daily public tours and meet Monday afternoons to schedule them. Provide your availability to Kim Williams (see information below) for other volunteer positions.

How to apply: Fill out this form

Who to contact: For docent and gallery guides

Lauren Carmichael - Assistant curator of education

[email protected]


For other positions:

Kim Williams - Membership and volunteer coordinator

[email protected]


2b Theatre Association

2b Theatre Association creates, develops and presents work for the stage.

Opportunities available: Volunteers can help with ushering, technical set-up, special events, administrative, event management, database management, fundraising, communications and marketing.

Qualifications needed: Depends on where the volunteer will be helping.

Hours: Various

Who to contact: [email protected]

Take on the rough task of becoming a cat cuddler at the SPCA. Photo: Angela Crozier
Take on the rough task of becoming a cat cuddler at the SPCA. Photo: Angela Crozier


Nova Scotia SPCA

Nova Scotia SPCA provides a safe, no-kill and rehabilitation shelter for abandoned animals. They rely on volunteers and donations.

Opportunities available: There are various volunteer positions like dog/cat cuddler, office assistant, cleaner, animal care and adoption counsellor, dog/cat care attendant, adoption counsellor, fundraiser or shelter support volunteer. Volunteers are expected to take part in a variety of tasks during their shift.

Qualifications needed: Training is provided; Must be 18 or over

Hours: Dog/cat cuddlers can come in anytime

Most volunteers require one three-hour shift per week

Adoption counsellor requires one three- to four-hour shift per week

How to apply: Fill out an application form and send it to the contact below or drop it off in person

Who to contact: [email protected]




CNIB is a registered charity that provides rehabilitation and support for blind and vision-impaired people.

Opportunities available: Volunteers can provide companionship and assistance to people who are blind or partially sighted, provide administrative support for the office and help fundraise.

Qualifications needed: Must be 19 or over

Some volunteer positions have a time commitment

May require an interview, orientation session or criminal record check

Training is provided

Hours: Various

How to apply: Fill out this form 

Who to contact: Jeff deViller

[email protected]

1-902-453-1480 ext. 226


Junior Achievement

Junior Achievement helps to provide youth with an understanding of business and entrepreneurship.

Opportunities available: Volunteers are needed for classes like Company Program, Economics for Success, Dollars with Sense and Our Business World.

Qualifications needed: Training provided

Hours: Various

Who to contact: Brenda Kenney

[email protected]



Parker Street Food and Furniture Bank

Parker Street Food and Furniture Bank is a registered charity that provides food, furniture, skill development programs and support services.

Opportunities available: Volunteers can sit on the advisory board, do food delivery, help with administrative duties, special events, warehouse maintenance, furniture repair and sort through food and clothing donations.

Qualifications needed: Depends on the volunteer position.

Hours: Provide short-term and long-term volunteering, but welcome one-day volunteers.

Volunteers are welcome anytime on Mondays through Fridays from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Food bank hours are Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m.

Who to contact: [email protected]



Red Cross has many opportunities for volunteers within their organization. Photo: Wikimedia
Red Cross has many opportunities for volunteers within their organization. Photo: Wikimedia


Red Cross

Red Cross is the largest humanitarian organization in the world that helps communities affected with disasters or emergencies.

Opportunities available: A variety of volunteer positions available, ranging from administrative duties to working with patients. Check here for available opportunities.

Qualifications needed: Must provide references and submit to a criminal record check

Some positions require extra screening

Hours: Various

How to apply: Fill out this form and send it to the contact below.

Who to contact: [email protected]

Symphony Nova Scotia

Symphony Nova Scotia is a 37-piece orchestra located in Halifax.

Opportunities available: Volunteers can be office receptionists, on-call volunteers, drivers and help in other areas.

Qualifications needed: Receptionists require basic computer skills

Drivers must have a driver’s licence

Hours: Receptionists are one morning per week.

On-call volunteers are on an email list and called when needed.

Drivers are on-call.

How to apply: Contact below

Who to contact: [email protected]