Unitea volunteers contribute to increasing social connection of both undergraduate and graduate U of A students and building more connected communities on U of A campuses. Through one-to-one conversations and group activities, volunteers provide a platform for students to have a conversation discussing range of topics or issues over a free hot beverage and help to foster a sense of support in the community. 

The Unitea volunteer program is a great opportunity to build and develop natural helping abilities, supported by the Helping Skills technique. Through the hands on volunteer experience, Unitea volunteers enhance their personal and professional goals and practices while meeting and connecting with fellow students in the campus community.

Both North and Augustana campuses have Unitea volunteer opportunities.

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Volunteer Responsibilities 

Every Unitea volunteer commits 9-12 hours/month to their volunteer responsibilities, which include:

  • engaging in conversation with student participants in a minimum 16 one-to-one meetings per term
  • calling upon additional support from a Community Social Worker/Augustana staff and/or making referrals to appropriate resources as needed
  • organizing and executing pop-up tea parties in collaboration with other Unitea volunteers
  • attending regular monthly meetings with Community Social Work Team staff, Augustana staff and other Unitea volunteers for updates, debriefs, and additional training
  • tracking interactions from one-to-one meetings, pop-up tea parties, and other events through provided tracking methods
  • representing the Unitea program and, by extension, the University of Alberta through responsible resource management, ethical confidentiality, and provision of support to peers
  • assisting with planning and facilitation of outreach activities throughout the year

Volunteer Qualities

  • enrolled as a part-time or full-time student at the University of Alberta for the 2018/2019 academic year.
  • certified by the Community Helpers Program* with knowledge of key community resources
  • enjoy drinking tea (or other hot beverages)
  • have strong interpersonal skills, including the ability to build rapport, engage in non-judgmental active listening, and demonstrate empathy. 
  • can work both independently and cohesively with other Unitea volunteers and Community Social Work Team staff, and Augustana staff.
  • demonstrate professionalism, reliability, and flexibility
  • have excellent organization, communication (verbal and written), and time-management skills
  • demonstrate personal initiative, motivation, creativity, and resourcefulness
  • strong understanding and respect for privacy and confidentiality

*Community Helpers certification is mandatory.
If successful candidates do not have Community Helpers certification, they are required to take Community Helpers training by September 2018. Please visit the Community Helpers page for upcoming training dates.