Localife has been running in Calgary, Edmonton, Toronto, and Ottawa for the past year and a half, and that means we’re due for a couple of changes. We are looking for a few new leaders: two in Edmonton, one in Calgary and, for the first time ever, two leaders in Vancouver. Yes, you read correctly–due to popular demand, Localife is coming to Vancouver!
What is Localife?
Localife is an initiative that involves young adult cancer survivors and supporters coming together to enjoy fun activities and social time with their peers. It was developed by Young Adult Cancer Canada (YACC) to address the isolation that many young adults face after diagnosis.
Every month or two young adults and their supporters have a chance to get together for fun social activities such as movie nights, curling, mini golf, karaoke, hiking, and much more!
To be eligible for this position, you must meet the following criteria:
- Are a young adult aged 18-39, who received (or support someone who received) a cancer diagnosis between the ages of 15 and 39*
- Are living in, or near, Edmonton, Calgary, or Vancouver
- You or the person you support, are at least one year post-treatment
- Have attended at least one YACC event (if you have never attended a YACC event, you must provide at least one reference from a professional involved in providing cancer care/support.
- Passionate about helping others and a demonstrated commitment to volunteering
- Outgoing, friendly, charismatic, and enthusiastic about building community
- A positive attitude and a creative and optimistic approach to challenges
- Empathetic, caring, and respectful
- A self-starter who is able to work independently and effectively manage time; does not get easily overwhelmed
- Demonstrates integrity and trustworthiness
- Excellent written and oral communication skills
- Demonstrated ability to see projects through from start to finish
- In a place of peace and acceptance with their personal cancer experience
- Not over-committed with other responsibilities (work, volunteer, family)
- Bilingualism is not necessary, but would be viewed as an asset
Educational/professional background in one of the following areas is preferred, but not necessary:
- Social Work
- Health promotion
- Recreation therapy
- Art therapy
- Volunteer coordination
- Event planning
- Digital media (i.e. social media management; film making; etc.)
Support: To coordinate and facilitate four to six Localife activities per year, and to serve as a liaison between local survivors/supporters and YACC. This involves some admin work (data entry, writing blogs, etc.) so being comfortable with word processing tools would be an asset.
Awareness/Advocacy: To nurture existing relationships with health professionals and foster new ones, and to ensure local cancer centres, hospitals, and community-based cancer organizations are well-stocked with up-to-date YACC resource materials.
We ask that all people interested in applying are confident that they can commit approximately 10 hours per month from June 2014 to June 2016.
We also require applicants to be available for a two- to three-day training weekend (Either April 25-27; May 2-4, or May 9-11, 2014). Training will take place in Calgary, and expenses will be covered.
This is a volunteer position, however, YACC will provide an honorarium to Localife leaders to ensure they do not incur costs through participation in the program.
Here’s what some of our other leaders had to say about their experiences:
“Before my cancer days, I didn’t know my purpose in life. After cancer, I found my purpose in life was to support my fellow young adult cancer survivors. I hope it won’t be for the rest of my life, but it truly has been a large part of my young adult life. Seeing all the young adult survivors come together and share their stories and find answers to questions that cancer brings into our young lives is kind of fulfilling–in a good way–after encountering cancer. I have really learned a lot about myself and the issues among young adults as a Localife leader. It has definitely made me a stronger person.”
– Bonnie Lum, Localife Toronto
“Being a Localife leader is an amazing experience. You are creating opportunities for young adult cancer patients and survivors to break from the isolation of cancer and connect with their peers. Seeing new connections being made, new friendships being formed, and helping to build the community are some of the best rewards of being a Localife leader.”
– Chris Chow, Localife Ottawa
“I love meeting new survivors and supporters and seeing them meet their peers who have been affected by cancer as well. For a lot of people it’s the first time they have ever met other ‘young’ people with cancer, and it makes me feel good knowing that we had a small part in making their cancer journey just a little bit less lonely and isolating.
A great thing about localife is that it is so casual. The way the events typically are set up, it just feels like a night out with friends! There is a lot of laughter, smiles and shared stories. We have had great feedback from some people who got so much out of a casual night of hanging out. I have nothing but good things to say about my experience as a Localife leader, you should totally sign up!”
– Colin Anderson, Localife Calgary
*At least one leader in each city must be a young adult cancer survivor