Join the 500+ volunteers who together contribute more than 100,000 hours of time and energy to Providence Health Care each year.
Are you interested in sharing your time and skills with Providence Health Care? We have a variety of volunteer opportunities in hospitals, long-term care facilities, assisted living, rehabilitation and palliative care.
Why volunteer at Providence?
Our volunteers enhance the quality of care we provide for patients and residents at all of our sites. Here are a few reasons to consider volunteering with us:
- Become a valued member of the health care teams at Providence
- Make an immeasurable difference to the lives of our patients and residents, and their families
- Experience personal growth through helping others in their community
- Gain valuable life and work experience
- Access educational opportunities, references, scholarships and monthly draws
We will do our absolute best to ensure your volunteer experience is as rewarding as possible. We provide exciting educational opportunities, engaging volunteer roles and the chance to be a member of an exceptional health care team.
Types of opportunities
There’s a volunteer position for everyone, regardless of expertise and background. Opportunities include:
- Help to upkeep and beautify our gardens
- Help with social and recreational activities
- Offer one-to-one visiting
- Provide pet therapy
- Deliver well wishes messages
- Help visitors navigate our sites
- Work in our gift shop
- Become a patient and family partner (see below)
See below for how to apply.
Note: Volunteers are not recruited for areas such as staff/doctor shadowing or direct care positions.
Meet our volunteers
While our volunteers come from all backgrounds and age groups, they have one big thing in common: A desire to get involved and make a real difference in their communities.
Creating beautiful spaces
Julien first started volunteering with Providence in January of 2020 as a site navigator at Mount Saint Joseph Hospital. When staff invited him to help revitalize the hospital’s courtyard and be one of the main gardeners, he jumped at the opportunity.
Life coming full circle
Toby Schmitt was a pharmacy student when he decided to volunteer at Mount Saint Joseph Hospital in 2012. Ten years later, he was back as Dr. Schmitt, completing a portion of his residency in pathology.
Helping patients look and feel better
Jay Hartnell began volunteering as a hairdresser at St. Paul’s Hospital in May 2017. In just over a year she had provided more than 75 haircuts to patients in need.
Maintaining a much-loved routine
Stuart and his Rottweiler/shepherd/lab cross, Nugget, had been visiting the long-term care home every Saturday afternoon for almost three years when COVID-19 hit. Stuart and Nugget switched to Zoom for their weekly visits.
Interested? Check your eligibility and see the commitment
We have volunteers who have been with us for 20 years, or just the minimum of four months. Take a look at our eligibility requirements to see what’s involved. Volunteers must:
- Commit to 1-3 hours a week for a minimum of four or six consecutive months depending on the program
- Be 16 years of age or older to volunteer in long-term care, or 18 and above for acute care
- Complete a free-of-charge criminal record check
- Get a free yearly flu shot (or choose to wear a mask)
- Be fully vaccinated against Covid-19 (minimum of two doses)
Before applying, we suggest reading through all the information on this page.
How to apply
At Providence Health Care, we have eight different sites available for volunteers. Each has its own needs and opportunities. To apply, just click on the site you are interested in volunteering at (listed below) for opportunities and a link to an online application form.
- Holy Family Hospital
- Mount Saint Joseph Hospital
- St. John Hospice
- St. Paul’s Hospital
- St. Vincent’s: Brock Fahrni
- St. Vincent’s: Honoria Conway – Heather
- St. Vincent’s: Langara
- Youville Residence
What happens after you apply?
All applicants will receive confirmation of their application. Selections are based on availability, length of commitment, experience and suitability. If selected, you will be contacted for an interview. Unfortunately, not all applications can be interviewed. If you have not been contacted within 6-8 weeks, we encourage you to re-apply.
Opportunities to donate
The clothing depot at St. Paul’s Hospital provides essential clothing. We serve those in need who are receiving care at the hospital. We undertake this service in a manner that is compassionate and preserves dignity. Our aim is to provide for and support our patients with immediate and urgent basic clothing needs, particularly at the time of discharge.
If you would like to help us continue our work to serve our patients, the hospital and community, please consider making a donation to help us purchase new items for the clothing depot
Answers to your questions
Before contacting our sites, we ask that you read through some of our frequently asked questions and answers. If you have any questions after reading the information below on volunteering at Providence, please contact us.
Applying to be a volunteer
Examples of suitable people to provide references for you include:
- coordinators of volunteers,
- employers or coaches.
Please include reference email addresses and telephone numbers on your application.
Depending on the requirements of the volunteer position, the application review, interview, orientation and training generally take three to four weeks. However, it could take longer. We have a legal, moral and ethical responsibility to protect the patients and residents in our care. Our goal is to find an appropriate placement for you and to ensure that you are fully informed and prepared for your volunteer responsibilities.
We are pleased to accept your application. Please note that volunteers with Providence Health Care are involved in the social and recreational aspect of the patients / residents lives. Any tasks or responsibilities that only a member of a licensed or regulated profession (physician, nurse, pharmacist, physiotherapist, laboratory technician, etc.) can legally perform are not included in any volunteer role descriptions. Volunteering will not allow you the opportunity to practice or develop your clinical or technical skills, nor are our volunteer roles designed to be professional internship opportunities.
Public Health requires all volunteers to have two COVID-19 vaccinations before volunteering. Effective October 12, 2021 for all long term care volunteers and effective October 26, 2021 for all acute care volunteers. Flu shot: It is highly recommend that all volunteers get a flu shot every year during the flu season (December to March). The flu shot is widely available and free of charge for volunteers.
The volunteer experience
Generally, shifts are one to three hours long, once a week. The maximum length of a shift is four hours. The majority of shifts are Monday to Friday during work/school hours but some sites do have opportunities on evenings and weekends.
We encourage volunteers to use public transit. While most of our sites do provide volunteers with free parking, at times it can be limited and hard to find.
Yes, upon completion of your initial four-month placement, you can come and see us about new opportunities and challenges. Volunteers are also able to switch between Providence sites without needing to reapply.
Volunteers can request a reference after 30 hours of volunteer service at our long-term care sites or 75 hours at our acute sites.
All PHC volunteers are required to wear the volunteer t-shirt uniform and their name ID badge. Volunteers must wear close-toed footwear. Clothing must be clean, comfortable and appropriate for a health care setting. Providence sites are scent-free, so please refrain from using perfumes and colognes while volunteering.
Yes, there is some flexibility in changing your volunteer placement, depending on the availability of opportunities.
Interested in volunteering? Click on the link for the site (See How to apply above) at which you are interested in volunteering. Then fill out an online application form.
St. Vincent’s: Honoria Conway-Heather
4875 Heather Street
Vancouver, BC, V5Z 0A7
Brock Nicholson, coordinator volunteer resources
St. Paul’s Hospital
1081 Burrard Street
Vancouver, BC, V6Z 1Y6
Sara Parmar, coordinator volunteer resources
Beth Hazell, coordinator volunteer resources