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Provide informal support for persons living with multiple sclerosis (MS) that reside within long term care by visiting, chatting, playing cards/games, reading to them, discussing current events, helping them complete projects (activities decided upon by volunteer and resident). MS residents in long term care tend to feel isolated and lonely because of decreased socialization and would greatly benefit from regular visits by a 'friend.'
We are recruiting for facilities located in Edmonton, Sherwood Park, Leduc and St. Albert

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MS Society of Canada support groups provide members with an opportunity to discuss common issues related to MS, including strategies for how to cope better with the disease. The groups offer emotional support, information and practical help though the experience of others. Group facilitators play an essential role in assisting this process by providing leadership to the group.

This position reports to the programs and services coordinator/manager of the chapter/division office.

This position is a position of trust in Programs & Services. The Support Group Facilitator will be required to complete the screening process including completion of appropriate background checks in compliance with the National Screening Measures Policy (2006).
-Facilitate the support group meetings by ensuring everyone has an equal opportunity to speak and share information.

-Involve group members in the sharing of roles and responsibilities of the group where possible, such as introducing and thanking guest speakers, greeting new members, setting meeting reminders, etc.

-Coordinate the location, time and date of the group meetings and inform the MS Society designate should this change.

-Work with group members to establish and uphold group norms/ground rules as outlined in “Support Group Etiquette”.
Ensure group members understand and adhere to the Confidentiality Statement by reviewing the statement at regular intervals and whenever a new member joins the group.

-Be the contact with the MS Society designate for information, and concerns within the group.

-Refer members to the MS Society designate for needs beyond the scope of the group.

-Conduct and/or participate in regular group evaluations as required.
This position involves between 3 and 5 hours a month of volunteer work.
- Facilitator training and meetings (once or twice a year) as determined by the MS Society. The training and meetings may require part of a weekend, an evening, or half day.

-Overall commitment of 1 year minimum with a preference for 2 years.

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To assist people experiencing multiple sclerosis (MS) with advocacy concerns and the completion of complex forms and applications related to federal, provincial and territorial income support programs, such as Canada Pension Plan-Disability (CPP-D) benefits, Assured Income for the Severely Handicapped (AISH) and the Income Assistance Program, respectively.
-Working with the Coordinator, Advocacy and Support for the Alberta and Northwest Territories (AB & NWT) Division to respond to and complete requests for volunteer support and should additional advocacy issues arise (e.g., access to accessible housing, healthcare, etc.) during the below mentioned regular duties
-Working with another volunteer to schedule meetings with persons with MS in need of advocacy support that will occur via phone, email, Skype, and/or at the local MS Society office
-Working with another volunteer to assist people with MS to complete their CPP-D and/or AISH or Income Assistance Program application(s) as required
-Assist applicants to organize their symptom and function information for applications
-Discuss sensitive information to assist in identifying and describing applicants’ relevant experiences, including the impacts of MS on daily living and function.

Time Commitment:
• Two-year commitment is requested because of the extensive training required
• Yearly time commitment varies depending on the number of requests received from people with MS who require advocacy support
• Time required for each applicant varies from 1-2 hours to several meetings (10-15 hours in total)
• Appointments with applicants can be scheduled based on the convenience of the volunteers and the applicant

Supervisory Relationships / Liaison:
• Alberta and Northwest Territories Division; Coordinator, Advocacy and Support
• National VLAP Coordinator

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