We are a once-per-month respite program that offers free care to special needs children and their siblings while parents enjoy a night out. It’s a fun-filled evening of activities that kids love.

Contact: Michelle Allen – recessislington@gmail.com; 416-528-1715

fun for kids and a break for parents

During rEcess kids with special needs and their siblings are dropped off at the church for 4 hours of fun. Each child is assigned a one-on-one volunteer for the evening who will guide them through a series of crafts, games and activities designed with their interests and abilities in mind. At the same time, parents are offered a “night off” to use in any way they want.

one-to-one ratio

We can accommodate about 20 participants in the program. The ratio of children to volunteers is 1:1 plus additional volunteers needed to run specific activities, provide security and “float” throughout the night. To serve a group of 20 kids between 30 and 40 volunteers are needed.

for birth to 13 years

The program is for children with special needs and their siblings from birth to age 13. We welcome children with a wide range of developmental, cognitive and physical disabilities. At this time, the lower level of the church is not wheelchair or walker accessible so we are not able to offer space to children requiring these types of mobility aids. Each child wishing to participate will fill out a detailed registration package that will be reviewed by our leadership team to ensure that the child’s needs can be met by our volunteer team.

intergenerational connections

Volunteering at rEcess Islington focuses on enriching intergenerational connections and doing God’s work in our community. We require 1:1 volunteer-to-child ratios for all special needs children and their siblings.  We also need volunteers to help with setup and cleanup, running activities, providing security and preparing the pre-program meal for our volunteers.  We encourage children to volunteer with their parents in the role of “buddy”.  We believe that families grow in faith when they are able to do meaningful service together.

who can volunteer?

Anyone is welcome and encouraged to volunteer and children as young as six can have a meaningful voluntary role when accompanied by a parent. High school students are also able to volunteer without their parents and use the experience towards their community service requirement for graduation. Volunteers are expected to arrive at 4 pm to help set up before the kids arrive. All volunteers will be served dinner before the program starts.

volunteer screening

Potential volunteers will be screened through an online application and phone interview. Once selected volunteers will have to go through training to familiarize themselves with the program and its expectations. This training will be include participants watching an online video and answering questions at the end. In addition to this training volunteers will be taken through expectations at each event before the kids arrive. All volunteers over the age of 18 will be required to complete a Vulnerable Sector Police Check.  To complete the Vulnerable Sector Police Check volunteers will be emailed a form after they complete their online volunteer registration.

rEcess schedule

Saturday evening sessions are from 5 pm to 9 pm

Saturday, February 22, 2020

Saturday, March 28, 2020

Saturday, April 18, 2020

Saturday, May 30, 2020

register a child participant

Are you the parent of a child with special needs wishing to participate in rEcess Islington? 

Click to complete a participant registration form.

register as a volunteer

Are you interested in volunteering with rEcess? Children 6 and up are welcome to volunteer with their parents.

Click to fill out a volunteer registration form.