Volunteer with The Royal

We are incredibly proud of our volunteer program at The Royal. With over 470 volunteers who dedicate their time, skills and talents in a wide variety of ways, our volunteers contribute to community-building both inside and outside of the walls of our facilities. Volunteers have been fundamental to the fabric of our organization for over 100 years!

Volunteering provides a unique opportunity to contribute to a cause that you're passionate about, and we hope the information you find here will help you to decide if you would like to volunteer here at The Royal. 

Volunteers help improve our clients’ quality of life and raise funds for our programs by operating a variety of ventures including a clothing store (donations of gently used clothing are gratefully accepted), a beauty salon and two coffee shops – all of which are open to the public. In addition, we hold several annual fundraising events, such as our Christmas tree sale every December.


The volunteer positions at The Royal provide opportunities to develop new skills and work with a diverse group of people within a mental health care setting, in both interactive roles as well as behind the scenes in support or administrative roles. With a minimum commitment of eight months, we offer volunteer opportunities for adults and youth 16 years of age or older, that are both flexible and rewarding. Please note that we are unfortunately no longer able to offer summer volunteer placements of four months for post-secondary students returning to Ottawa.

While we certainly endeavour to keep you engaged as a volunteer for a longer time, our minimum commitment is for eight months to one year. 

In recognition of the value of your time, our commitment to you in return is to ensure that your volunteer experience is a positive one! Annmarie Nicholson, our director of volunteer services, will meet with you to explore your interests and find the best volunteer placement possible to fit your goals.


To ensure the best quality of volunteers and services offered, we have a thorough screening and training process. If a good fit is found for your interests and availability, it can take one to two months to start volunteering. Please note that in order for information to be current, we keep applications for a period of four months, after which, you need to re-apply.

How do I become a volunteer?

  1. Download our application and reference forms.
  2. Send the reference form to two references and have them return the completed forms to you.
  3. Send the completed application form, two reference forms, and your resume to volunteering@theroyal.ca or via mail.
  4. If a match is found for your interests and availability, an interview will be scheduled.
  5. If you are given an assignment, you must complete a TB test (performed on-site free of charge at The Royal) and submit a vulnerable sector level Police Record Check