Community Engagement Training News

Volunteer BC along with several volunteer centres are hosting Community Engagement Training around the province.
This is an opportunity to network, exchange ideas and learn best practices in volunteer engagement.  Also meet the Volunteer BC Board, learn more about us and how we can work together. 

These sessions are free and everyone welcome!

March 11: Webinar: 5 Steps to Building a Stellar Volunteer Team, SOSVCRegister here.

March 18: Webinar: The Volunteer Lifecycle, SOSVC – Register here.

March 19: Hybrid: Servant Leadership For Your Volunteer Program, KCR Community Resources.  Register here.

More dates/locations to be announced soon. Spread the word and save your seat!

Dive into Volunteering with BC Artistic Swimming

Dive into Volunteering with BC Artistic Swimming

Emergency Support Service volunteers hard at work

Without volunteers, BC Artistic Swimming wouldn’t be able to bring this unique sport to communities throughout the province.

Jennifer Keith

Executive Director, BCAS

BC Artistic Swimming (BCAS) isn’t just about synchronized swimming; it’s a passionate community of individuals across British Columbia committed to nurturing the sport and athletes. This volunteer-driven organization unites over 200 volunteers each season to support 1,000 athletes. BCAS envisions an inclusive and accessible sport community that inspires excellence while instilling ethical values and fostering social responsibility.

How do you help the community and what services do you offer them?

BCAS offers a range of programs catering to athletes of all ages and abilities, from Adaptive and AquaGO! programs to competitive opportunities, including participation in prestigious events like the Canada Summer Games. Aligning with the Canada Artistic Swimming Long-Term Athlete Development Framework, BCAS introduces physical literacy and athlete development at all levels.

Beyond athletes, BCAS supports coaches, officials, and clubs through various programs and educational opportunities.

How do volunteers make a difference at BCAS?

Volunteers are the lifeblood of BCAS. Every facet of the organization, from clubs and competitions to events and governance, relies on volunteers. They operate with a volunteer Board of Directors and committees, and each of their 16 clubs is governed by a volunteer Club Executive. Officials and event volunteers also play a crucial role, ensuring the sport thrives in communities across BC.

Without volunteers, BC Artistic Swimming wouldn’t be able to bring this unique sport to communities throughout the province.

BC Artistic Swimming offers a diverse array of volunteer opportunities, allowing you to immerse yourself in the artistry and athleticism of the sport up close. Plus, you’ll enjoy the warmth of a dry pool deck during events – no rain or cold to contend with!

By volunteering with BCAS, you’re not just supporting a sport; you’re becoming part of a vibrant, inclusive community that values giving back and fostering excellence in athletes of all ages and abilities.

How can people get involved and volunteer? 

You don’t need to be a synchronized swimming pro to volunteer. Reach out to  info@bcartisticswimming.ca, and their dedicated team will help you find the perfect volunteer role. Opportunities range from event-specific tasks to long-term governance positions. They’ll guide you through the process, ensuring you’re comfortable and confident in your role.

For more volunteer opportunities, check out Volunteer Now on our website for all the latest postings and information.

 

Kick Off 2024 by Volunteering

Kick Off 2024 by Volunteering

You never know what rewards may await you!

Want to start giving back in 2024? There is no better way to help your community than by volunteering!  Join over 40% of British Columbians and start volunteering this New Year. 

Volunteering can be a rewarding experience on so many levels. It can draw you into a community of like-minded folks dedicated to giving back to an idea, cause, or need. Consider a one-time commitment, short-term, long-term, or whatever works for you. Welcome the new year by volunteering for something that touches your heart. You never know what rewards may await you. 

Anne-Marie Koeppen

President, Volunteer BC

To make it even easier to get started, we at Volunteer BC have made an easy list to follow to find volunteer opportunities in your community:

1. Discover your local volunteer centre and check out the opportunities they offer!

Volunteer Centres are an essential part of every community. Each volunteer centre is unique to its region and is focused on promoting volunteering, offering resources and up-to-date opportunities. If you’re looking for local volunteer opportunities or community work to start your year, Volunteer Centres are the place to start!

To find your local Volunteer Centre check Volunteer BC’s Volunteer Centre Network  

To learn even more about Volunteer Centres and what they can do for you, download this Factsheet.

2. Find a volunteer position that works for you with Volunteer Now!

With over 29,000 Non-Profits in B.C. it is easy to find a position that works best for you. To find your perfect volunteer position check out Volunteer BC’s platform:  Volunteer Now a one-stop shop for all your volunteering needs. This platform allows you to search and apply for multiple positions all in one place, and you can also filter based on location, position type and more!

Volunteer Now is completely FREE for volunteers. Simply make an account and start looking for a position that interests you. 

It’s also important to stay safe and healthy while volunteering! Be sure to check out our Volunteer Safety Checklist for an easy guide on staying safe while finding a new volunteer position. 

3. Try something new through volunteering!

There is no better time to venture out of your comfort zone and try something new than at the beginning of the year! If you do not have a local volunteer centre there are many online options for finding new ways to help your community!

Check out these posting boards: Volunteer Connector, Charity Village,  iVolunteer or MeaningfulWork. Schools, colleges and universities often have volunteer posting boards. The Pan-Canadian Volunteer Matching Platform works in collaboration with Volunteer Centres nationwide to provide over 75,000 volunteer opportunities.

4. Update your skills and learn something new!

If you’re looking for a great New Year’s resolution, try adding new skills to your repertoire and learning something new! 

Volunteer BC hosts a training calendar which shows opportunities to upgrade your skills. This training will teach you about volunteering and the non-profit sector while also gaining valuable and applicable skills. 

Follow us now on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn to hear about our new opportunities as soon as they are available!

Want even more detailed info on volunteering? Visit our Volunteer Resource page and download – I Want To Volunteer Handbook – an interactive step-by-step guide on how to go about finding that perfect volunteer position.

5. Join the volunteering community with a Volunteer BC Membership!

A Volunteer BC Individual Membership is another great way to become part of the volunteer community in BC in 2024. A membership not only shows your support to Volunteer BC you’ll also receive excellent benefits that will help you on your journey to being your best self volunteering in 2024. 

As a member, you receive our member’s member-only newsletter, new volunteer positions, and the latest updates on the non-profit sector. Sign-up now.

Volunteering is a great way to add meaning to your life, and there is no better time to start than the New Year! By following these 5 steps in 2024, you’ll be all set to learn new skills and make your community a better place. 

If you ever have any questions, please reach out to your local volunteer centre or Volunteer BC

2023 Volunteer BC & BCACG Conference Highlights

2023 Volunteer BC & BCACG Conference Highlights

Photo Highlights from Day 1 of the Volunteer BC & BCACG Conference.

17 speakers + 13 sessions = A SUCCESSFUL & REWARDING EVENT!

We re-connected, celebrated our successes, danced & laughed together – all in person!

On October 26 & 27, 2023 BC Association for Charitable Gaming (BCACG) & Volunteer BC hosted our annual 2 day conference for Non-profits, Charities & Volunteers. Thank you to all who participated and took time to learn, discuss, rethink and reimagine the big issues of the sector today.

Photo Highlights from Day 2 of the Volunteer BC & BCACG Conference.

Making Volunteering Count: The Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen

Making Volunteering Count: The Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen

Emergency Support Service volunteers hard at work

Building healthy and cohesive communities is an essential part of the programs and services offered by the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen (RDOS). Their volunteers pay a critical role in making this possible.

In 2020, RDOS launched its volunteer program. The RDOS Recreation department saw the importance of being intentional with volunteers and believed that without a formal program, that volunteers would be the ones to miss out. With a formal volunteer program in place, areas such as recognition, budget, policy, training and overall advocacy for volunteers would help volunteerism flourish in the community.  

Volunteerism and a strong sense of community go hand-in-hand, especially in smaller communities. The RDOS has been fortunate to have such a diverse and passionate volunteer base for many years. 

The RDOS offers a variety of inclusive volunteer opportunities within areas such as parks & recreation, emergency management, committees, community champions, and the Young Leaders’ Program.

Young Leaders program participants (left), local volunteer leading a karate program (right)

Volunteering allows you to connect with your community while sharing your skills, supporting others and having fun. In addition to contributing time and expertise, there are many other benefits including gaining valuable work experience, expanding your social networks and staying physically and mentally active. 

 

Volunteerism also promotes a sense of belonging and even increases happiness levels. Visit the RDOS YouTube channel to watch the new volunteer video.

 

To get involved with RDOS, begin by completing the online application form here: Volunteer Opportunities | RDOS.

For more volunteer opportunities, check out Volunteer Now on our website for all the latest postings and information.

Want to learn about emerging trends and how to adapt to the changing landscape of volunteering? Join us October 26 & 27 at the VolunteerBCACG Conference for nonprofits, charities and volunteers. This event is your chance to discover new approaches and reimagine how your organization can thrive.

Secure your spot now!

When Disaster Strikes, Count on the HEMBC’s Disaster Psychosocial Support (DPS) team

When Disaster Strikes, Count on the HEMBC’s Disaster Psychosocial Support (DPS) team

UBC Emergency Preparedness exercise DPS participants

Supporting Individuals Affected By Disasters

Disasters are inevitable, and right now, the most imminent risk to British Columbians is wildfire season. More than one million hectares (approx. 2 million football fields) have already burned. It’s easy to see the impact on our forests and the surrounding communities, but the emotional toll on those affected can sometimes go unnoticed—that’s where Disaster Psychosocial Support (DPS) comes in.

When disaster strikes, count on the Disaster Psychosocial Support team

A service within Health Emergency Management BC (HEMBC), DPS provides psychosocial support to individuals, families and communities affected by emergencies like wildfires, floods, earthquakes and more. The DPS team is comprised of HEMBC staff, and a network of professionals including social workers, counselors, psychotherapists, pastoral care, victim service workers, psychologists and others who volunteer their services over and above their regular jobs.


DPS Volunteer Stories – Making a Positive Difference 

Dr. Laurie Pearce, one of the founding members of DPS, helped start the program over 20 years ago after realizing a gap in disaster response. Laurie, a registered social worker, now teaches disaster management at a number of colleges and universities in British Columbia, including Royal Roads University and the Justice Institute of British Columbia.

“Disaster emergency management has been a long-time passion of mine,” says Laurie. “Early on in my career when I was working for the Ministry of Children and Family Development, I noticed that while there was support in terms of putting people up in hotels, or providing vouchers for food to evacuees, no one was looking after their psychosocial needs. It was important to me to ensure that support was available.”

“As a DPS volunteer, we meet people when they are facing some of the worst times of their lives. Some have just lost their homes and possessions, or had family members who have died or been injured. Our job is to provide them with the tools they need to connect and move forward, and ease some of the consequences of the trauma they’ve just experienced. It feels really good to be able to make that positive difference in people’s lives and that’s why I keep coming back to it,” says Laurie.

Susan Viveiros, a counselor from Terrace B.C., was recently deployed by DPS to support the wildfire in Burns Lake. She worked in the Emergency Operations Centre supporting emergency professionals. 

Susan joined the DPS team earlier this year and has already supported a number of disasters and emergency events. She joined both because of the altruistic nature of the work and the opportunity to provide support to individuals who have just gone through a traumatic experience. 

“Even though they are trained professionals, everyone can use a little support,” said Susan. “Sometimes we don’t realize all of the things going on in the background. Every conversation I had, I was giving somebody something, making them aware of how they can help themselves from managing stress and beyond.”

Susan Viveiros (left) and Dr. Laurie Pearce (right)

Become a DPS 

Are you interested in providing psychosocial support in the form of psychological first aid to persons and communities impacted by emergencies and disasters? Join the DPS network by submitting your volunteer​ application online. Volunteers must have a level of education, training and experience equivalent to a Bachelor’s degree in a related field, plus a minimum of five (5) years’ recent and related experience working with clients in the field of social work, mental health, counseling, crisis response, or similar profession. For more information, please visit www.phsa.ca/dps.

Pitt Meadows Emergency Preparedness exercise DPS participants

Flood volunteers enjoying a post-work milkshake

For more volunteer opportunities, check out Volunteer Now on our website for all the latest postings and information.

Want to learn about emerging trends and how to adapt to the changing landscape of volunteering? Join us October 26 & 27 at the VolunteerBCACG Conference for nonprofits, charities and volunteers. This event is your chance to discover new approaches and reimagine how your organization can thrive.

Secure your spot now!