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.

How do I apply?

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.

Why volunteer with us?

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.

How much time do I need to commit?

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.

Types of volunteer opportunities

Community and public health volunteer positions

  • 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. To apply email: VolunteerResources@saintmartinhospital.com
  • 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.

Hospitals (Acute Care) volunteer positions

  • 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.

Residential Care volunteer positions

  • 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.