Frequently Asked Questions
How do I become a volunteer?
Check out the How Do I Get Involved page for a step-by-step guide on how to sign up as a volunteer.
How old do I have to be to become a volunteer?
Volunteer opportunities begin at 13 years old, though many of our volunteer opportunities are only available for youth age 16 and older. All interested volunteers under 19 years of age must complete a Parental Consent form. For more information, please see the Information for Parents page.
How long does it take to sign up?
Signing up with MyVolunteerPage is a relatively simple process, and shouldn’t take more than 15 minutes. The follow-up intake interview usually runs around 15 minutes, while volunteer orientations are offered seasonally and run between 1 and 2 hours. Completing your Criminal Record Check is usually a relatively quick process – 15 minutes or less – though this can vary depending on how busy the RCMP office is. Overall you’re only looking at a few hours to get completely set up.
I want to volunteer, but I don’t have a lot of free time. Is there a minimum commitment?
There is no universal minimum commitment for volunteering with Recreation; however, to receive a letter of reference a volunteer must complete a lesson set or a minimum of 20 hours. Each volunteer opportunity will have a minimum commitment depending on the nature of the position. Some opportunities will require fewer hours over a longer period of time, while others are more intensive but short-term commitments. We understand that people have busy lives and will do our best to find opportunities that works for your schedule.
Why do I need to get a Criminal Record Check done?
We want to ensure we offer safe programs for all: participants, volunteers and staff. Therefore, if a volunteer has the potential of interacting/working with children or other vulnerable individuals, they are required to complete a Criminal Record Search prior to confirming their assignment. Criminal Record Check request forms will be provided by Volunteer Services at no cost to volunteers for the purpose of volunteering with City programs.
I have a Criminal Record Check from a previous organization - am I able to use it to volunteer with Port Coquitlam?
Unfortunately, we are not able to accept Criminal Record Checks from other organizations, even if they are up to date.
Once I complete a Criminal Record Check, am I able to obtain a copy to provide another organization?
Unfortunately, we are not able to provide a copy of your Criminal Record Check. Criminal Record Checks completed for the purposes of volunteering with the City of Port Coquitlam are only valid for that purpose. If you require a Criminal Record Check for another organization, please check with them to see if they are able to provide a request form or if you will be required to pay for your own.
I have a Criminal Record – does that mean I can’t volunteer?
Not necessarily. Just as each volunteer is unique each circumstance is unique. All results will be reviewed by the Human Resources Department individually and a decision will be made as to whether the offence is relative to the volunteer opportunity or not.
Where do I log my hours?
Why do I have to log my hours?
We request that all volunteers sign in and out of each volunteer shift as well as log their volunteer hours online at MyVolunteerPage. Signing in and out of shifts allows staff to keep better track of who is in the facilities in case of an emergency, while logging hours online ensures that volunteers have an accurate record of the time they have committed to volunteering. If a volunteer requests a letter of reference the Volunteer supervisors will refer to the number of hours logged on at MyVolunteerPage. It is important to keep it current and accurate.
Who can I go to if I have a problem while volunteering?
If you have any questions, concerns or issues while volunteering, please speak to your volunteer supervisor. You can find the name and contact of your volunteer supervisor in your volunteer welcome package as well as the webpage for each function area. If you are not comfortable speaking to your volunteer supervisor, you can also contact the Volunteer Services Program Coordinator at 604.927.7906, email@example.com or through MyVolunteerPage.com
Who can I use as a reference?
As the person you report to directly, your volunteer supervisor is the most qualified to provide you with a reference. We are happy to provide letters of reference for volunteers who have completed 20 hours of volunteer experience or have completed a lesson set. You may also speak to the Volunteer Services Program Coordinator, keeping in mind that volunteer supervisors will still be required to provide insight into your qualifications and experience as a volunteer.
How can I obtain a letter of reference?
If you require a Letter of Reference, please contact your volunteer supervisor. If you have been volunteering with a number of departments and wish for a more comprehensive letter, you can also contact the Volunteer Services Program Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Will volunteering with Recreation help me get a job?
Volunteering is always a great way to enhance your resume, create relationships, gain work and leadership experience and explore career options. If you are volunteering with future job prospects in mind, here are a couple of tips to get the most out of your experience:
- Find a volunteer opportunity that is related to the kind of work you want to find. This can be in the same area, such as helping with Special Events if you want to be an Event Planner, or in any position that requires the type of skills you want to develop.
- Get the most out of your volunteer experience. Show leadership skills and behaviours looked for in a good employee, such as showing up on time, staying until the job is done, and practicing good communication. Don’t be afraid to step up to the plate and pursue leadership opportunities.
Port Coquitlam Volunteer Coordinator
Location and Mailing Address
#200 – 2253 Leigh Square
Port Coquitlam, BC
8:30 am to 4:30 pm
Monday to Friday (excluding statutory holidays)