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About the Position
Position: 2848 - Volunteer Peer Health Coach, BETTER Women Program
Organization: Canadian Cancer Society, Peel Office
Position Address: Region of Peel, Ie. Mississauga, Brampton and Caledon, principally from volunteers' residences
Location: Mississauga, Brampton, Caledon, Virtual


Do you want to help prevent cancer by effecting widespread behavior change in women in your community? Get trained and become a certified volunteer peer health coach today!

'BETTER Women' is a health promotion and chronic disease prevention program for women aged 40 to 65 in which participants will be encouraged to set health and screening goals to reduce their risk of chronic disease. Volunteer peer health coaches will provide regular support to women so they can reach and maintain their health goals by offering ongoing 1-on-1 support to participants. The program is part of an ongoing evaluation to assess the effectiveness of peer health coach intervention.

Most chronic diseases can be prevented by healthy eating, moving more, quitting smoking, reducing alcohol intake, and staying up to date with your cancer screening. The Canadian Cancer Society is looking for passionate women in Peel Region who have experience in setting health goals to volunteer their time as certified peer health coaches with the 'BETTER Women' program in the Greater Toronto Area, notably Peel Region.

Disclaimer: Peer health coaching is not counselling. They are not medical professionals and do not diagnose or prescribe nutrition, disease or physical fitness. They are volunteers who are trained in motivational interviewing and work with participants to uncover their own goals and motivation for change.


For research purposes, the CCS (Peel Region site) 'BETTER Women' program will focus specifically on the health of South Asian women, and we will be recruiting only South Asian women ages 40-65 to become peer health coaches (15 volunteers in all). Although much of the work is done independently, South Asian peer health coaches form a team supporting South Asian program participants at the Peel Region site and this team will work together, with staff partners, to provide ongoing enhancements and input into the further development and refinement of the program.To become a volunteer peer health coach, you will complete an online training program, totaling 24 hours, that will be delivered over a 5 week period. As a volunteer peer health coach, you will join the BETTER Women program to support women aged 40-65 achieve personal health goals that can help reduce their risk of chronic disease (being more active, healthy eating, quitting smoking, reducing alcohol and getting screened). You will be matched with a participant and connect with them either through phone, text, email, video conference, and/or in person for short 10-15 minutes sessions per week to coach them to reach their goals.Based on your availability, you may be matched with 1-5 participants at any given time (6-month time frame per match). Part of your work will include tracking outcomes and inputting the participants' information into the BETTER Women software and linking participants to CCS and our other 2 community resources, plus you will provide regular updates to the program's Prevention Practitioner.YOUR COMMITMENT> We’re asking for your commitment to at least 1, ideally 2, years of volunteering 3-4 hours per week, due to the relationship-based nature of this role. The role is designed to accommodate your vacation time> You have a willingness to be a part of a research study, contributing to ongoing and ultimate project evaluation> We expect and require an ongoing level of commitment which will include regular supervision check-ins and involvement within a community of practice OUR COMMITMENT:> Comprehensive training to become a BETTER Women peer health coach, including training in motivational interviewing> Online resources and a peer health coach toolkit> A designated CCS staff member who will provide ongoing support> Regular meetings with other peer health coaches to build a strong community of practice> A safe volunteering environment, with appropriate Health & Safety protocols as required by COVID-19 'social distancing' in placeRECRUITMENT of volunteers for the BETTER Women program continues in January and February, and applications will close March 8, 2021, so do not delay in applying. Volunteers with 'profiles' in Volunteer MBC's Referral System should click the yellow box 'Apply Now!' (above/below) to gain direct access to the BETTER Women volunteering webpage, which has more information and the 'Volunteer Peer Health Coach Application'. Thank you for your interest in this program!


As a Volunteer Peer Health Coach you will be:+ promoting your own personal development by participating in comprehensive training+ enhancing your personal interactive and communication skills, plus learning to navigate effectively in our increasingly 'virtual' world+ building your personal capacities through volunteering and 'networking' in your local community (make new friends!)+ bringing together a community of women who will be all on the same journey+ helping prevent cancer by affecting widespread behavior of South Asian women in your community+ making a difference in your life and in the lives of other women+ working towards better health, in an enduring way, not only for yourself, but also for residents in your community

  • South Asian women between 40-65, who have themselves faced challenges in reaching health goals
  • Ability to commit to a volunteer engagement of more than 6 months (preferably at least 1 year, ideally 2 years)
  • Ability to read, write and speak English. Note: The program also needs peer health coaches who can speak South Asian languages such as Punjabi, Hindi and Urdu
  • You understand the challenges and objectives of  BETTER Women, plus you personally have had success in meeting your own health goals, whether through healthier eating, walking more, quitting smoking, or cutting back and reducing alcohol consumption
  • You are non-judgmental and empathetic towards others facing similar challenges, and you value and practice 'diversity and inclusiveness' in your community
  • You can communicate effectively and through a variety of platforms (phone, email, text, or video conference) and are conversant and comfortable with basic computer skills
  • Reliable access to the Internet together with devices that are appropriate for this role (ie. PC, Laptop, with features/software needed for video meeting/conferencing, etc.)
  • Ability to connect well with a variety of people and develop meaningful relationships based on mutual trust and strong listening skills
  • Organized, flexible and committed to abide by agreed schedules, you are passionate about building a solid rapport with the program participants assigned to you
  • Committed to ongoing accountability, tracking conversations with participants and reporting to staff supervisors as required or requested
  • Rigorous commitment to Health & Safety protocols (COVID-19 and generally), CCS policies.procedures, and program privacy/confidentiality requirements
  • Due to the close 'peer' relationships that will be involved as between our volunteers and program participants, a 'Police Check' is required

    Screening of Applicant volunteers will be 'virtual' (tel/email/online interviews). Please monitor your 'Spam'/'Junk' folders for email from the Peel Office, plus kindly leave space on your voicemail. Thank you.

Min Age: 40   
Police Check: Yes

Time Commitment
This is a Long Term (More than 6 months) commitment starting 2021-04-01
Due Date:2021-03-08
Shifts are available Anytime

Flexible Work Schedule: Approximately 3 to 4 hours per week, schedule to be mutually arranged with the Peel Office of the CCS, having regard to your availability and that of the program participant(s) assigned to you


To become a volunteer peer health coach, you will complete an online training program (24 hours in total) that will be delivered over the course of 5 weeks, commencing in April 2021. There is no cost for the training.  While undergoing training, as part of a research study, you will be asked to complete 3 questionnaires to evaluate the training program. Each questionnaire may take 20 to 30 minutes to complete.

More Details
Areas of Interest: Culture & Heritage, Education & Learning, Healthcare, Life Skills & Accessibility, Research/Evaluation, Multilingual, Newcomer Support
Accessibility: Unknown
Ideal for: Individuals, Older Adults

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