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Volunteer Opportunities at EFry


E Fry Ottawa’s active volunteer program provides trained volunteer support to our clients at our Drop-In Social, the Ottawa Courthouse, Bronson Safe Open Project through Bronson RISE, and E Fry Ottawa’s group programming. We recruit and train volunteers to meet the unique needs of our clients, and to meet the ever-evolving needs of the community. Due to COVID-19, E Fry Ottawa volunteer involvement is on pause until further notice for the residential programs (Lotus House and J.F. Norwood House), and with the Ottawa Carleton Detention Centre (OCDC).


Below are some of the key duties and responsibilities of volunteers for the various programs. Please note that these are not comprehensive descriptions and are meant to give you a general overview of the programs and what would be expected of you to help you choose the right program for your interests.

Drop-In Social

The Drop-In Social, located in the Bronson Centre, provides these women and gender-diverse folks access to basic needs including clean clothes, healthy foods, coffee, books, telephone, and internet.

  • Assist clients in finding basic needs items the Drop-In Centre offers including clothing, household items, toiletries, etc.
  • Refer clients to EFry services and resources as requested
  • Refer clients to external services and resources as required
  • Sort and organize basic needs items and place them in the appropriate shelf

Court Support Program

The Court Support Program provides support to all individuals seeking assistance at the courthouse which can include court accompaniments for women, visiting cell-block, offering emotional support and resources.

  • Accompany clients to court, duty counsel, parole/probation office and other services in the Ottawa courthouse

Bronson Safe Open (BSO) with Bronson RISE

Bronson Safe Open (BSO) is an initiative to increase social inclusion of seniors in the community surrounding the Bronson Centre (central Ottawa) – including by involving them in activities with community members of all ages. E Fry Ottawa is the lead agency for Bronson Rise, and works to integrate marginalized community members into a range of engaging activities to reduce their social isolation.

  • Participate in the operation and technological support of Zoom activities run by a facilitator
  • Activities include chair yoga, tai chi, dancing, sharing songs, and Caribbean fit fete


The Elizabeth Fry Society of Ottawa holds occasional events to engage with the community, our supporters, and our clients outside of the services we provide. These include The Client Christmas Party, the Annual General Meeting,, tabling at community events and assisting at fundraisers.  Having volunteers assist with these events allows the staff to put on these events to everyone’s benefit.

  • Assist in preparation for events including but not limited to setup, decoration, and/or creating promotional materials
  • Attend events and help with duties as given by the event coordinator
  • Engage with clients and community members
  • Assist with the take down and clean up of events