Chris Laubitz has been a Peer Support Volunteer at Wellspring Westerkirk House for five years. When he was going through his own cancer journey Chris found it necessary to reduce his time at work, so he chose to volunteer. Instead of having a designated volunteer shift, Chris likes to fill in from time to time so he gets a chance to meet other volunteers and members. He usually volunteers at the Centre, four days a month. Chris also provides peer support in the chemo clinic at Michael Garron Hospital.
“In my opinion there are three components to our role: listening, bringing positivity to the environment and guiding the new member through our offerings” says Chris. “Listening is the most important part of being a Peer Support Volunteer. You have to be a good listener so members can open up. You want to make a good impression and create a welcoming, safe atmosphere. “When welcoming our members and meeting with them you can see the stress go away.” Part of the Peer Support role is making follow up calls to our members. “Everyone is so appreciative of our call,” says Chris. “They always thank me for checking in. As Peer Support Volunteers we understand what they are going through.”
“I look forward to my volunteer shifts at Wellspring because I know we play an important role in our members’ journeys,” says Chris. My family and friends always say that after a day of volunteering, I bring home with me lots of positivity and good energy. I couldn’t have made a better decision than to volunteer for Wellspring. I love what we do.”