Volunteering at McMaster

Want to stay involved on campus?

Opportunities are frequently available for Mac retirees to continue to support our McMaster community, while participating in fulfilling and rewarding volunteer work. MURA provides information on available volunteer opportunities in its quarterly newsletter, MURAnews, and also sends notices via email. To be added to the MURA member email list, send a request by email to mura@mcmaster.ca.

Don’t want to volunteer alone? Most volunteer activities work well with a teamwork approach. So when you see an opportunity that appeals to you, get in touch with your retiree friends and volunteer as a team.

Volunteering off campus

A few major off-campus volunteer organizations

Volunteering news

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  • June 10, 2022 5:07 PM | Anonymous

    sneakerStudy looking for volunteers to participate in one of three FREE 12-week mobility programs

    Are you experiencing recent changes in the way you walk two kilometres? Researchers at the School of Rehabilitation Science at McMaster University are looking for adults (age 55-75) with early changes in their mobility to take part in a study.

    You will be asked to participate in a 12-week mobility program, either virtually or by telephone, and undergo four virtual assessments with a physiotherapist over 36 weeks. To be eligible, you must have a laptop computer with internet service at home.

    More information about this mobility study can be found at our Mobility Research Recruitment web page. If you are interested in participating, please contact Susanne Sinclair ssincla@mcmaster.ca.

    Note: Recruitment has begun and will continue until December 2023.

  • May 01, 2022 3:18 PM | Anonymous

    The Office of the Registrar welcomes retirees to become involved in the most exciting days of McMaster students’ academic lives — convocations.

    Volunteers are needed to assist at convocations, where your role would be to meet, greet and direct students and guests, check tickets and/or distribute hoods and diplomas to students. You will work alongside a full-time employee who can offer assistance and training.

    If you are interested in signing up for any of the days listed below (full or half day options), please contact Rachel Huang in the Office of the Registrar, by emailing convo@mcmaster.ca.
    More details on convocation can be found on the Office of the Registrar's Upcoming graduation events web page, or by contacting Rachel.

    Additionally, legacy convocation events for the 2020 and 2021 graduates are being planned.

    Spring 2022 convocation ceremonies:
    Wednesday, May 25, 2022, afternoon
    Thursday, May 26, 2022, afternoon
    Monday, June 13, 2022, afternoon
    Tuesday, June 14, 2022, morning & afternoon
    Wednesday, June 15, 2022, morning & afternoon
    Thursday, June 16, 2022, morning & afternoon
    Friday, June 17, 2022, morning & afternoon    

    Legacy Convocation Events (tentative)
    Tuesday, May 24, 2022, afternoon
    Wednesday, May 25, 2022, morning
    Thursday, May 26, 2022, morning
    Friday, May 27, 2022, morning & afternoon

    Approximate volunteer shifts (for all events):
    Morning: 7:30 – 12:30 pm
    Afternoon: 12:30 – 5 pm
    Full day: 7:30 am – 4 pm

  • May 01, 2022 3:12 PM | Anonymous

    Have you had an injury from slip, trip, or fall that has limited your mobility? Do you find you walk or take the stairs differently or less frequently than before?

    If you are ≥ 55 and have had an activity-limiting injury from a slip, trip, or fall in the past 6 months, you may qualify to participate in a pilot research study investigating a home-based high intensity functional strength training (HIFST) exercise program.

    Eligible participants receive a 12-week home-based HIFST exercise program or a 12-week home-based lower body stretching program; both will include videoconferencing meetings.

    For more information or to volunteer for this research study please contact Ashley Morgan, morgaa2@mcmaster.ca.

    (Ashley Morgan is a PhD student in the School of Rehabilitation Sciences at McMaster, working under the supervision of Dr. Julie Richardson.)

  • March 18, 2022 5:21 PM | Anonymous

    MURA members and Friends –

    This volunteer opportunity is being forwarded from the Hamilton Council on Aging (HCoA).

    As noted below, please email expressions of interest or questions to the HCoA at events@hamiltoncoa.com no later than April 1, 2022.

  • March 06, 2022 12:08 PM | Anonymous

    Cycling Without Age is a world-wide initiative that gives senior citizens and others who cannot cycle an opportunity to have a safe slow free bicycle ride through their neighbourhood on a Dutch built trishaw (three wheeled e-assist bike) piloted by trained volunteer guides. Established in Denmark in 2012, there are now over 2500 chapters, 35,000 pilots, and more than 30 chapters in Ontario alone.

    We need several volunteers with various skills that may or may not include piloting the big e-assist trishaw. These include site coordinators for each seniors’ centre or pickup location, trishaw escorts who ride their own bikes ahead of the trishaw on the bike path, special event coordinator(s), social media lead, webmaster, IT lead, story writer, fundraisers, and grant writing assistants.

    What does it take to be a pilot or a volunteer at CWA Hamilton & Burlington?

    • All pilot trainees must be confident cyclists on their own bikes
    • All pilot trainees must be reasonably fit and able to easily cycle for a minimum of 30 minutes.
    • All pilots must complete on-bike training successfully.
    • All pilots must carry a personal cell phone in case of emergency.
    • All volunteers must obtain a criminal record check including vulnerable persons.
    • All volunteers must sign the confidentiality agreement and waiver.
    • All volunteers must follow CWA Hamilton COVID protocols

    If you want to pick up a meaningful and fun volunteer activity next spring contact Nancy Gray (Co-Founder CWA Hamilton & Burlington) at cwahamilton@gmail.com.


    See also this article on Cycling Without Age in the Winter 2022 issue of MURAnews.

  • December 27, 2021 6:02 PM | Anonymous

    The McMaster Smart Home for Aging in Place (SHAPE) research team, with McMaster University, is recruiting participants in a clinical study on mobility tracking with smart devices. In this study, the participants will wear a smart watch and place several ambient (not wearable) devices in different rooms in their home. This system will detect and track the room-to-room movements of the user and generate a weekly report of their activity levels. The study aims to find out whether the changes of such activities over time (e.g., weeks to months) may provide important mobility information usually associated with chronic diseases and the general aging process.

    Participant eligibility requirements:

    1. 60 years of age or older;
    2. English speaking;
    3. Have access to a telephone and/or internet-based video call.
    4. Living independently (e.g., not in a long-term care facility) as an individual or as a couple.

    If interested, please e-mail Dr. Qiyin Fang at biophotonics@mcmaster.ca or qiyin.fang@mcmaster.ca for additional information regarding the study.

    This study has been reviewed by the Hamilton Integrated Research Ethics Board under Project #11446.

  • December 27, 2021 5:59 PM | Anonymous

    Retiree members of the Faculty Association – You may be interested in pursuing this opportunity recently advertised in the MUFA newsletter.

    Required: members of the Faculty Association – yes, RETIREES also qualify – to serve as observers for appeal and grievance hearings. The role of the Observer is to report on the adequacy of the procedures, with a view to making recommendations to improve relevant policies, not to comment on the conduct or the judgment of the tribunal. Hearings usually take place over one or two days. For more information, send us an email at mufa@mcmaster.ca, or call us (905) 525-9140 ext. 24682 or 20297.

  • May 17, 2021 3:55 PM | Anonymous

    Are you looking for an opportunity to volunteer remotely? Visit the Hamilton Public Library’s volunteer opportunity page to learn about GritLIT and Newcomer Learning Centre Online Tutoring.

    GritLIT is looking for volunteers to read to residents of Hamilton long-term care facilities via Zoom, for 40-50 minutes per visit. See the GritLIT website for more information, qualifications, and to register.

    Newcomer Learning Centre Online Tutoring
    This program provides English language learning through video/audio chats twice per week, for one hour each session. Visit the Learning Centre website for more information, qualifications, and to complete an online application.

  • February 14, 2021 2:23 PM | Anonymous

    Research participants are need for two studies on exercise – both involve the opportunity to exercise at home.

    Healthy participants: The Department of Kinesiology is looking for 65 to 80-year-old healthy men and women to participate in an online exercise intervention on Zoom delivered by registered kinesiologists and physiotherapists. The exercise program will occur three times a week for eight weeks to investigate the impact of online exercise classes on levels of physical activity. Interested participants must have internet access at home.

    For more information, contact Giulia Coletta at giuliacoletta@mcmaster.ca.

    Frail participants: The GERAS Centre for Aging Research is looking to recruit older adults, 65 years of age or older, in the community, who are mild to moderately frail, and cleared to exercise. Those randomized into the intervention group will receive exercise classes and consultations, socialization calls from medical student volunteers, a nutritional meeting and protein supplementation, and a medication consultation with a pharmacist. Everything is free and participants never have to leave their home. Devices for participation will be provided for those who do not currently have one.

    For more information, or if you or someone you know would like to participate, please call 905-521-2100 ext.12232 or email Jessica at belgravej@hhsc.ca.

  • February 14, 2021 2:22 PM | Anonymous

    During a time when social distancing is a must, the VON of Hamilton has many clients suffering from the effects it leaves behind. If you believe you are a person who can put some light into someone’s life again through virtual visits or a weekly telephone call, please consider donating 1-2 hours per week of your time. Virtual training sessions and support will be provided. Please apply to become a volunteer with the VON of Hamilton by contacting Allison at 905-529-0700, ext. 2251.

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