Making the Annapolis Valley a better place for LGBTQ youth and our allies

Volunteer

The Valley Youth Project is seeking volunteers from the 2SLGBTQIA+ community!

Drop-In Facilitator

This is a commitment of 3-6 hours per month, depending on whether you participate in one or both of our two monthly drop-in sessions.  Drop-In is held on the first and third Wednesday of most months, and runs from 6:30PM – 8:30PM.  There are always two facilitators at drop-in, so the new facilitator would be assisting a more experienced volunteer.

What Is Drop-In?

Drop-in is a social space, not a support group, for 2SLGBTQIA+ youth. As much as possible, the goals of drop-in are

1. To be accessible to all youth who wish to participate,

and to support youth in

2. Defining themselves

3. Determining their own lives, and

4. Directing the organization

Am I a Good Fit for Drop-In?

It is important for all volunteers to stay conscious of why we want to help.  Helping others can make us feel important and valued.  And of course we are!  But a need to feel those things is not a good reason to volunteer.  Though all people deserve to be safe and respected, youth participants do not owe us anything else. We are looking for volunteers who

  • Prioritize the needs of youth
  • Get their emotional needs met in other parts of their lives
  • Listen more than they talk

That way, the satisfaction and thanks we sometimes receive can be welcomed — but not demanded.

Duties

  • Arrive at the Louis Millett Community Complex in New Minas 30 minutes before drop-in starts
  • Help set up chairs, library books, resource materials, and food
  • Help facilitate group discussions and activities
  • Help clean up (typically 30 minutes after drop-in ends)
  • Abide by the Drop-In Guidelines, and ensure others do as well: Consent, Clean and Sober, and Good-Faith Co-operation

Skills

If you have some of these skills, and are willing to learn the others, consider contributing them to the Valley Youth Project:

  • OPEN: Are you open about your own sexual orientation and gender identity, and able to recognize the privileges/marginalizations that connect to them?
  • UP-TO-DATE: Do you keep up to date with emerging ideas about sexual orientation and gender identity, including in employment, education, and health care, and how those ideas/experiences vary by culture, ethnicity, religion, ability, and in other ways?
  • LISTEN: Are you able to listen to people, including experiences of difficulty, discrimination, mental health struggles, or abuse, by asking questions and offering resources — without being overwhelmed by your own reactions, giving unwanted advice, or trying to control the situation?
  • BE FIRM: Are you able to set firm boundaries that respect the safety and needs of all involved, including yourself?
  • INTERVENE: Are you able to intervene in conflict, especially racism, ableism, homophobia, or transphobia, with fairness and transparency, and without apology or aggression?
  • BE ACCOUNTABLE: Are you able to hear that you may have done something that had harmful effects, consider it respectfully, and act in a spirit of accountability?

Training

Any of these kinds of training would be an asset:

  • Group dynamics facilitation
  • Conflict mediation
  • Non-violent communication
  • Mental Health First Aid

I’m Worried I Don’t Have Enough Experience/Training/Confidence…

Facilitating at drop-in is enjoyable and sometimes downright easy!  But other times, especially when participants are experiencing or remembering times of stress, abuse, or mental health struggles, it can be hard to know what to do.  All drop-in facilitators work together to support participants and each other, build our skills, and create an environment that is as healthy, safe, and supportive as we can make it.  We also all make mistakes, and then help each other learn and fix them. We have gotten very good at helping each other learn! We expect excellence from ourselves and each other — not perfection. If you are curious or interested, please contact us and give us a chance to get to know you.