Volunteer Centre of St. Lawrence-Rideau
Volunteer Centre of St. Lawrence-Rideau
Call: 613-498-2111
Call Toll Free: 1-800-926-0777

Our History

Our History… our future in the making


The Volunteer Centre was founded as the Volunteer Bureau in 1981 due to the vision of dedicated community activist Betty Haley.

The need for a coordinated approach to assist nonprofit organizations with their volunteer needs was made evident to Betty while she was working on a YMCA volunteer engagement project.

She quickly realized that many organizations did not have the capacity to actively recruit volunteers and thought it would be beneficial to have an organization that could act as a broker or clearing house for volunteers.

Discussion with other concerned community members resulted in a seven member steering committee and the formation of an elected board.

The Volunteer Bureau of Leeds and Grenville’s doors opened April 1st, 1981. The organization became a registered charity on January 1st, 1991 and was incorporated on July 14, 2000.

Several additional programs were founded under Betty’s tenure as Executive Director including:

  • Drivers Program – a program to drive seniors and low income individuals to doctors’ appointments
  • Community Income Tax Program
  • Mayors’ Community Walk which provides local area nonprofits the opportunity to raise funds and highlights the work of volunteers in our community.

Thirty years later the Centre continues to offer the successful Income Tax Program. The Drivers Program was moved to the Victorian Order of Nurses in May 2002.

After 22 years of dedicated service Betty Haley retired on June 1, 2003 with Cheryl Marshall becoming the new Executive Director.

Cheryl made many contributions to the Centre during her four year tenure. She was instrumental in coordinating the work of United Way member agencies to support the United Way campaign through successful stew luncheons. She left the Centre in 2007 to pursue another exciting opportunity in our community.

Frank Rockett took over the helm as Executive Director in 2007 upon Cheryl’s departure.

Frank worked to raise the Centre’s profile in the community while placing an emphasis on sustainability. He initiated several new programs, including the Resource Rental Program. Additional new programs and partnerships include ChangetheWorld Youth Volunteer Challenge.

Over the years, our organization has expanded. On our 30th anniversary, we became the Volunteer Centre of St. Lawrence-Rideau.

On February 12, 2014, Harold Hess became the new Centre Manager.

To this day, the Volunteer Centre strives to enrich the Leeds Grenville community through volunteerism.

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