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Ontario Volunteer Advocate

Help to change laws and policies to improve Ontarians' health.

Role Title: Ontario Volunteer Advocate

Focus
: Participate in meetings with elected officials

Location:
Queen’s Park or constituency offices 

Time Commitment: Varies – generally half hour meetings, plus briefing calls and travel time. Approved expenses and mileage will be reimbursed. 

Volunteers are the heart of the Foundation.

Every volunteer is a valued and essential partner in achieving Heart & Stroke’s vision of healthy lives free of heart disease and stroke. Our community offers a welcoming and fulfilling environment for volunteers to contribute their time and talents. We welcome diversity in all of its manifestations. It is important for us to reflect the communities we serve. Diversity strengthens our performance and improves our ability to deliver more impact.

Overview of the role:

Volunteer Advocates play a critical role in Heart & Stroke’s long history of advocacy success. Volunteer Advocates are passionate about helping to change laws and policies to improve Ontarians' health.  As a volunteer in this role, you will join our team to attend meetings with elected officials in your riding and share your personal experience to influence policy decisions regarding youth vaping (smoking e-cigarettes).

Background:

Heart and Stroke advocates for the conditions necessary for people in Canada to live healthy lives free of heart disease and stroke. Our ongoing efforts include influencing decision-makers - including governments - about healthy public policy.

One of the advocacy priorities of Heart and Stroke is the impact of the promotion of vaping products in retail locations frequented by young people. Allowing promotion of these products could lead to a significant increase in the number of Ontario youth addicted to nicotine, with associated impacts on adolescent brain development from nicotine exposure, and with possibility that youth at low risk of initiating smoking will go on to smoke cigarettes.

Some activities associated with this role include:

Share your personal story at the meeting with an elected official to support Heart & Stroke advocacy priorities
Participate in advocacy training and briefing calls before the meeting
Participate in other future advocacy initiatives such as acting as a media spokesperson
Allow Heart & Stroke to quote your story in other outreach to elected officials and media, with prior approval 

Qualifications: 

Individuals who are affected or have a connection to someone affected by youth vaping (e.g. parents, students, teachers or coaches etc.)
Passionate and comfortable about using your personal story to make a difference in health policies
Willing to learn about basic knowledge of Heart & Stroke and health policy 
Experience with storytelling and strong communication skills are assets

Benefits and competencies developed: 

Develop and enhance your professional skills that are suitable for sharing on your resume and CV.
Expand your network and interact with other passionate Heart & Stroke volunteers and employees.
Exposure to advocacy in action and opportunities to raise your voice.

Orientation and training: 

Information on Heart and Stroke mission and vision
Advocacy training including information on Heart & Stroke’s position on youth vaping and specific meeting briefing
Ongoing support provided 

Next steps:

1. If you are interested, please email onAdvocacy@heartandstroke.ca to request a role-specific Candidate Information Sheet.  
2. Fill in the Candidate Information Sheet and return it to us.
3. All candidates will receive a response about advocacy opportunities that correspond with their schedules, interests, and experience.