Organizations that deal with addiction and recovery are reliant on the community around them for their support and compassion when it comes to acknowledging that societal reintegration and aftercare planning takes time, diligence, and continued monitoring. For however long it takes a client to complete our First Stage Program and graduate either into a Second Stage house or live on their own, the spiritual principles of patience, honesty, and willingness are fostered to grow into something eventually self-sustaining.
A graduation from treatment at Together We Can grants Alumni status and the chance for personal strengths to be utilized in what we offer with our Volunteer Aftercare Program. Age aside, the uncertainties of “life after treatment” are slowly realized as our clients begin to look and feel better about their choice to stay clean and sober. The universal attitude of being fearful of what comes next is taken into great consideration when we guide a client into the aftercare aspect of their treatment experience. Sticking around and being a part of the goings-on at TWC is an experience we open to all eligible candidates unsure about their future and those that require more time to work through personal goals.
An immediate return to work, school, or family life may not be suitable for everyone. Some clients have been disconnected for such a long time that their motivation and zest for life is still diminished to the point of not being fully functional in society. Our community of volunteers provides the basis of our peer-support network and the Volunteer Aftercare Program is a structured, stable environment where Alumni are given certain responsibilities that closely resemble a career choice and comprehensive learning strategies one would encounter in the work force.
Managed and monitored by TWC Staff, duties of a volunteer can include:
1. Basic peer support and dialogue with new or struggling clients. Sharing their experience and hope for the future assists in inspiring the newcomer or conflicted clients to change their perspective on situations. When a client enters treatment, a senior client is assigned to “show them the ropes” in terms of living with their fellow peers in a comfortable and secure way. Volunteers help ease the irrationality by relating how they once felt to a current situation. This aspect of peer support is essential to a man’s early recovery.
2. Help around the facility. Treatment can be a fast-paced environment and the only way to achieve anything is to “roll with resistance.” If a bed needs making, a volunteer is designated to do that. If a room needs cleaning or the kitchen needs help (with the right certifications), a volunteer fills the gap. Counsellors often require Alumni to sit in on group and share their own story of recovery and TWC considers this to be the ultimate service of keeping the facility stable. If a client requires Food Safe or other safety certifications, TWC assists in them obtaining that document.
3. An extra hand for staff members. TWC is filled with field trips and outings that sometimes need more structure to successfully pull off. The idea is not to act with authority, but to work and play alongside clients to provide a shining example of recovery and willingness to change. We also believe in never missing a moment, and as such we always have volunteers taking photos and videos of the exciting opportunities our clients take advantage of such as Music Therapy and our Athletics Program. The greatest gift of client care is creating a joyful point of reference for clients to look back on and think, “yes, I remember how much fun I had that day!”
Volunteers are given a schedule, dress-code, and orientation that outlines their job as a supporter of TWC’s community and we take great pride in the volunteers adhering to these principles. The bottom line is that a volunteer is our front-line connection to the client and their needs, and they act as an advocate for change on behalf of someone’s personal recovery.
For more information, please visit our Volunteer Aftercare Program page here.