banner image hands holding

The Care & Connect Team

Care & Connect logo

The Care & Connect (formerly Healing Beyond the Body) program has shifted to offer virtual connections by phone or video chat for patients and caregivers under care at Princess Margaret Cancer Centre. If you have questions about the virtual program, call 416 946 4501 ext. 3311 or email

About Care & Connect Volunteers

Health Standards Organization Leading Practice logo

At Princess Margaret, we have a team of specially trained volunteers who work directly with cancer patients and their supporters. These people are called Care & Connect Volunteers, and are part of a program generously supported by CIBC. The program aims to reduce the negative impact of cancer on the lives of patients and their supporters. The program makes sure that the mental, emotional, social, interpersonal and practical aspects of living with cancer are addressed.

Cancer Experience logo

The Care & Connect program is part of the Cancer Experience Program.

What Care & Connect Volunteers Do

As a volunteer, your role is to invite patients and their supporters to talk about the challenges they experience and:

  • Give emotional support. Living with cancer can be extremely stressful. You can help by listening to patients and their supporters express their reactions, questions and concerns. You can offer encouragement by reflecting back their own strengths and resources. You can be a strong advocate to patients and their supporters. You let them know that they are supported, understood and not alone.
  • Offer information. You can help ease the stress patients and their supporters often feel by providing general information related to treatment and side effects, clinic procedures and the cancer care system. Providing tips on how to deal with treatment-related tasks and sharing coping and stress-management strategies can help people feel more in control of their treatment.
  • Show how to find information. Learning about cancer and its treatment can help empower people who have the disease. You can help patients and supporters speak to a librarian about an information search, gain skills in finding information or access services in the hospital and the community. You can also help people prepare for an appointment and figure out the questions they want to ask.

Care & Connect Volunteer Requirements and Training

Requirements for Becoming a Care & Connect Volunteer

Care & Connect volunteers are caring and non-judgmental. They have strong interpersonal skills. If this describes you, then we’d love to have you apply to join our team. You also need to be:

  • At least 21 years old
  • Energetic, responsible, eager to learn and reliable
  • Able to speak English well (speaking a second language is an asset)
  • Able to commit to the program for at least 1 full year

Please note: All Care & Connect encounters are virtual through MS Teams or by phone.

Formal Training

As a Care & Connect volunteer, you will have lots of contact with patients and their families, friends and caregivers. This contact requires training beyond what other hospital volunteers receive. The training will help you effectively support the people you work with.

You will undergo formal training before starting your Care & Connect volunteer placement. Formal Care & Connect training is in 2 parts:

  1. A Princess Margaret volunteer orientation session and some e-learning modules
  2. Care & Connect training (one full virtual day) - see below for more details

The Care & Connect training includes:

  • Understanding the role of the Care & Connect volunteer
  • Active listening and communication skills training
  • Learning about Princess Margaret Cancer Centre and cancer basics
  • Education on the programs and resources within and outside the hospital

Ongoing Support

When you become a Care & Connect volunteer you will be oriented to your role by Care & Connect staff and other volunteers. Care & Connect staff is available to support you as needed. You will also attend regular debriefing meetings to talk about things that occur during your volunteer shifts.

How to Become a Care & Connect Volunteer

In order to become a Care & Connect Volunteer, you will:

  • Complete an on-line information session
  • Complete an on-line application form that includes a résumé and cover letter (please specify why you want to volunteer with Care & Connect)
  • Submit 2 character reference forms
  • Be interviewed by a recruiter
  • Approved candidates will obtain health records, show proof of immunizations, and complete a tuberculosis test with their family physician
  • You will be given a link to complete a Criminal Record Check after you have been approved by Occupational Health
  • Attend aforementioned trainings

For more information about applying and to start the application process please visit our UHN How to Become a Volunteer »

Hours & Contact

Hours: Monday–Friday, 8:30 AM–4:30 PM

Contact: 416 946 4501 ext. 3311 or email
Last reviewed: 6/27/2024
Last modified: 7/4/2024 11:07 AM
Back to Top