Every day Vancouver Coastal Health volunteers make someone's day brighter. Our volunteers support patients, clients and residents in communities across the North Shore, Powell River, Richmond, Sea-to-Sky, Sunshine Coast and Vancouver.
Contact or apply to the Volunteer Resources department in the area where you wish to volunteer. The volunteer application process may take 4-8 weeks and includes a Ministry of Justice criminal record check initiated by VCH Volunteer Resources, personal interview reference checks, and an orientation/training session.
Volunteers complement the care provided by professional staff. As a volunteer, you can gain personal satisfaction from helping others, obtain experience relevant to your future employment or educational plans, meet new people and learn more about the health care system.
As a general rule, we ask volunteers to commit to two to three hours per week on a regular day for a minimum of four months. The minimum volunteer commitment may be greater than 4 months depending on the site and the volunteer position of interest to you.
- Public health, infant child and youth – Be the first point of contact and assist children, families and staff at baby clinics, parenting groups, school immunization and flu clinics.
- Home Health outreach – Impact adult and seniors’ health and independence by home visiting, assisting with shopping, walking, rehabilitation support and connecting to neighbourhood amenities.
- Medical appointment companion – Accompany frail seniors to their medical appointments; lend a hand or an arm to support and navigate busy buildings and hospitals.
- Addictions and harm reduction – Volunteers support at needle exchange centres and as group facilitators.
- Shop-by-Phone – Volunteers take orders and grocery shop for homebound seniors to ensure they have access to healthy food.
- Adult Day Centres – Support therapeutic and recreational activities in a group social setting.
- Diners’ Club – Assist staff and clients during dinner or lunch hour.
- Information and Wayfinding – Volunteers act as liaisons between patients, their families, visitors and staff, and provide general information to patients awaiting treatment.
- One-to-One Visiting – Volunteers provide social stimulation by chatting, playing cards, reading, etc. with patients who have been referred by staff.
- Retail – Volunteers provide friendly customer service and assist with daily operations in the gift shop, thrift shop, and gift cart contributing to raising funds for improved patient care.
- Emergency Department – Volunteers act as a liaison between patients, their families, visitors and staff and provide general information and assistance to waiting patients.
- Patient Support – Greet, offer information and comfort to patients as well as assisting staff in meeting patients’ needs in various departments including Surgical Daycare, Ambulatory Care, Oncology, and Palliative Care.
- Patient Libraries/Book Cart – Maintain library, distribute donated reading materials to patients who enjoy reading.
- Recreation, Occupational Therapy and Physiotherapy – Volunteers assist with exercise and art programs, gardening, computer sessions, mealtime conversation and other leisure activities.
- Music Therapy – Volunteers work in a variety of programs with a Music Therapist to provide residents with an enjoyable social and therapeutic environment.
- Escort Volunteers – Volunteers accompany residents on shopping trips, to medical appointments or other outings in a van driven by staff.
- One-to-One Visiting – Enjoy friendly conversation with residents to reduce social isolation.
- Pet Visitors – Bring your pet to visit with residents who love animals (successful completion of an approved training program required).
- Faith–Based – Volunteers provide visitation, church services, communion, and other spiritual programs supervised by a chaplain or spiritual care coordinator.
- Hospice – Volunteers provide non-medical support, companionship, visiting and conversations with Hospice patients/residents and their families.