Volunteering provides unique and fulfilling work experiences that may help you decide if Therapeutic Recreation is the field for you. You will gain a good sense of the industry with all the exciting challenges and rewards that go with it. You also get to see and experience the role recreation plays in meeting the needs of older people or people with disabilities.
Volunteer site information
You could find an appropriate volunteer experience at:
- long term care facilities for older adults
- youth assessment centres
- rehabilitation settings
- group homes
- mental health settings
- adult day centres
- rehabilitation centres
- correctional facilities
- municipal recreation centres
- agencies working with people with developmental disabilities
You can also check out The Red Book, which is a directory of health and social services in the lower mainland, including addresses and phone numbers. Another good website is GoVolunteer. Click on "Browse by Activity" and go to the Sports and Recreation listings.
Listed below - in alphabetical order by community - are some of the agencies currently providing volunteer opportunities in Therapeutic Recreation.
George Derby Centre, 7550 Cumberland Street
Long-term care facility providing care to 300 veterans of the Armed Forces. Three open units and two special care units for residents with dementia. The Therapeutic Recreation department includes recreation, artworks, music therapy, pastoral care and volunteer services.
Contact: Director, Therapeutic Programs 604 527 4450
St. Michael's Centre, 7451 Sussex Ave.
Residential care for seniors. Also offers compassionate and holistic hospice care for people who have a terminal illness. The Therapies Department delivers over 50 programs to assist residents to maintain or improve their state of health and live life to its fullest.
Contact: Director of Volunteer Services 604 434 1323, local 134
Strive Living Society - Liberty Place, 7899 17th Avenue
There are 20 tenants in an apartment building style Assisted Living facility for adults with physical disabilities, such as Spinal Cord Injury, Multiple Sclerosis, Muscular Dystrophy, Spina Bifida, and Cerebral Palsy. All tenants are in power chairs or manual wheel chairs and range in age from 20 to 70. The Recreation department offers various recreation programs ranging from board games to outings to and one-on-one assistance.
604 526 9933 (Ext. 3)
Brookside Lodge, 19550 Fraser Highway, Surrey
Brookside Lodge is a long-term care home located on the Surrey/Langley border. We have 116 residents in eight neighbourhoods, with a specialized acquired brain injury neighbourhood and a behavioral support transition neighbourhood. Our Recreation Therapy team provides a variety of programs and outings to enhance resident’s health and well-being.
Contact: Volunteer Coordinator 604-530-6595 (ext. 103)
Evergreen Hamlets, 15660 84 Ave, Surrey
Residential care for adults with brain injuries, Huntington's chorea, multiple sclerosis and cerebral palsy. The Activities Department provides various programming ranging from sports, board games, mental aerobics, information sessions to outings/excursions.
Contact: Recreation Coordinator 604 597 7906
Guildford Seniors Village, 14568 104 Ave, Surrey
Guildford Seniors Village is home to 89 residents with varying care needs. We have three separate units including one Special Care Unit. We offer a variety of large group, small group and one-on-one programs.
Contact: Manager of Therapeutic Recreation and Volunteers 604 580 4284
Langley Gardens - Empress Assisted Living, 3rd Floor - 8948 202 St, Langley
An assisted living building providing housing for 35 very active residents. On a daily basis, we offer numerous programs to enhance our residents' social, emotional, physical, vocational, spiritual and intellectual well being.
Contact: Lifestyle and Programs Manager 604 881 8132, local 132
Power For All is a charity that operates in the Fraser Valley. The purpose of our organization is to relieve conditions associated with disability by providing specially adapted recreational programs to support the physical, mental, and emotional well being of children, youth, and adults living with disability.
778 885 7953
Semiahmoo House Society, 15306 24 Ave, Surrey
The Recreation and Leisure department offers a range of cool and interesting evening programs for youth and young adults with developmental disabilities. Band practice, Theatre, Sports, A Glee-Club, Boys and Girls night out and a Friday movie drop-in are just some of the exciting programs. We are looking for enthusiastic, caring and committed peer mentors who want to make a difference in the lives of other people.
Contact: Volunteer Coordinator
604-536-1242, local 255
The Residence at Morgan Heights, 15955 27 Ave, Surrey
A long term care facility for older adults featuring 8 residential neighbourhoods within a 116 bed complex care community. The Therapeutic Recreation department offers numerous programs designed to meet the needs and interests of our residents. We provide opportunities to enhance the residents' social, emotional, physical, spiritual and intellectual well-being.
Contact: Recreation Coordinator 604 576 2273 ext 121
Abbotsford Regional Hospital - Extended Care, 33457 Cottage Lane, Abbotsford
We are a 125 bed extended care facility with a team approach to quality of life. Combined music, rehabilitation and recreation therapy programming. Recreation programming is available six days a week.
Contact: Volunteer Services 604 851 3010
Maplewood Care Society, 2510 Gladwin Rd, Abbotsford
We are a long term care provider, with two homes in Abbotsford, caring for over 110 residents collectively. Both homes aim to provide holistic wellness through a variety of innovative programs that serve the desires of our residents.
Contact: Recreation and Volunteer Manager 604-425-3093 or firstname.lastname@example.org
North Fraser Therapeutic Riding Association , 13345 Park Lane, Maple Ridge
NFTRA is a non-profit organization enriching the lives of children and adults who experience physical, mental, emotional or social challenges by providing safe and professional therapeutic equine programming. We conduct 4 annual riding sessions of approximately 8-13 weeks each in the summer, fall, winter and spring. On average we serve over 100 clients per week with the assistance of 80-100 volunteers.
Contact: Volunteer Coordinator 604-462-7786
Ridge Meadows Hospital - Baillie House, 11666 Laity St, Maple Ridge
Residential care for seniors. We provide therapeutic recreation services to 175 seniors with various disabilities.
Contact: Volunteer Coordinator 604 466 7911
Kiwanis Care Centre, 2444 Burr Place, North Vancouver
Complex care facility with 192 residents, primarily, but not limited to seniors. There are limited mental health opportunities available.
Contact: Recreation Therapist 604 924 8357
The adaptive soccer program is an opportunity for individuals who may not have the ability to play in mainstream soccer to develop their physical literacy, well-being and love for soccer.
Hawthorne Care Centre, 2111 Hawthorne Ave., Port Coquitlam
Hawthorne provides a wide range of services to seniors, from low income housing to long term residential care for those seniors with complex care needs. All the recreation therapists are Douglas College graduates.
Contact: Manager of Volunteer Services and Community Partnerships 604 468 5037
The Adaptive Soccer program is designed for players who have disabilities/abilities, and is offered to girls and boys aged 6-16. It is a safe and fun space for children to gain new soccer skills, build relationships and have fun!
Rosewood Manor, 6260 Blundell Rd.
Rosewood Manor is a non-profit care home licensed for 151 Complex Care residents including a 35 bed dementia care unit and one respite bed. The Recreation Department provides a variety of individual and group programs designed to meet the social, physical, mental, emotional and spiritual needs of the Residents.
Recreation and Volunteer Manager
604 271 3590 (local 122)
Adanac Park Lodge, 851 Boundary Rd.
Residential care facility with 72 residents. Average age of residents is mid 70's and many have mental health issues. The Leisure and Volunteer Services Department provides a wide variety of programs to meet the needs and interests of our residents.
Contact: Leisure and Volunteer Services Manager 604-299-7567 ext. 310
BC Wheelchair Sports Association (https://www.bcwheelchairsports.com/get-involved/become-volunteer), 780 SW Marine Drive
BC Wheelchair Sports Association is a not for profit organization that helps people with physical disabilities across the province lead active, healthy lives through wheelchair sports. BCWSA provides wheelchair sport opportunities from grassroots development programs to Paralympic level athletes in the sports of wheelchair tennis, wheelchair rugby, and wheelchair athletics. We are always looking for enthusiastic volunteers to meet a wide variety of volunteering roles from regular programming opportunities, to hosting tournaments!
604 333 3520 x 209
Canucks Autism Network , 1877 West 8th Avenue
Canucks Autism Network (CAN) provides year-round sports and recreation programs to individuals and families living with autism, while increasing awareness and providing training in communities across British Columbia. Our volunteers collaborate with our trained and qualified staff to provide individualized and adapted support to children, teens and young adults with autism.
Contact: Volunteer Coordinator email@example.com / Become a volunteer
City Centre Care Society – Cooper Place, 306 East Cordova Street
Cooper Place is located in the heart of Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside, and offers Assisted Living to 70 residents. Many individuals who live here are experiencing mental health issues and/or substance addiction, as well as physical health problems. The Recreation Department works to provide scheduled programs that are compatible to our residents’ interest, needs and abilities. Recreation programming creates a therapeutic environment in which quality of life will flourish.
Recreation Program Coordinator
Developmental Disabilities Association - Leisure Challenge Program, 2083 East 37 Ave.
After school community based leisure and recreation program for youth ages 13 to 19 with developmental disabilities. Focus of the program is to teach life and social skills through recreation.
Contact: Program Coordinator 604 323 8370
Dr. Peter Centre, 1110 Comox St.
Dr. Peter Centre provides a Day Health Program and a 24 bed residence to people living with HIV. Goal is to provide care to those most at risk of deteriorating health.
Contact: Volunteer Coordinator 604 608 1874 local 2235
George Pearson Centre, 700 West 57 Ave.
George Pearson Centre is an extended long-term care facility for adults with severe physical disabilities. Residents are on average 40 years of age with primary disabilities ranging from those resulting from spinal cord or head injuries to chronic diseases such as multiple sclerosis and ALS and disorders including cerebral palsy and muscular dystrophy. Recreation Therapy staff provide volunteer-supported programs designed to stimulate residents either physically, socially or cognitively.
Contact: Coordinator, Volunteer Resources 604 322 8332
Holy Family Hospital, a Providence Health Care site, is home to 142 extended care residents, as well as one of the largest referral centres for rehabilitation in British Columbia. Residents are older adults working to overcome obstacles caused by strokes, arthritis, orthopedic trauma or major surgeries like hip, ankle, or knee replacements and leg amputations. At Holy Family Hospital each resident is valued as a unique person, deserving of support in order to enjoy a meaningful quality of life, and the team there operates with those core values in mind. Volunteers, please apply through the Providence Health Care volunteer site.
Coordinator, Volunteer Resources
Little Mountain Place, 330 East 36 Ave.
Residential care facility with 116 residents. Provides specialized services for the visually impaired, the frail elderly, and residents with Alzheimer's Disease or related dementias. Therapeutic Recreation Programs are offered based upon residents' needs; they have a specific goal and purpose, they assist in bringing meaning and satisfaction to one's life and they help to maintain physical and emotional well being.
604 325 2298
Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation - Adapted and Integrated Programs, 4575 Clancy Loranger Way
Access Services is a city wide department supporting children, youth and adults with varying disabilities. Access Services is led by a Recreational Therapist and in partnership with outside organizations and community associations provides a number of adapted and integrated social-recreational programs. The primary focus being on supported day camps, adaptive aquatics, and a Summer Sports Festival highlighting outdoor activities such as Kayaking, Sailing, Sit-Ski Waterskiing, Rowing and other activities.
Access Services - Recreation Programmer
604 718 5853