The City of Surrey’s volunteer program saw a 234 per cent increase in volunteers from the years 2009 to 2012.
In 2009 there were 3,306 registered volunteers with the city which climbed to 11,041 in 2012. There was also an 87 per cent increase in volunteers hours contributed during this same time period.
“There are so many options for getting involved as a volunteer in the community,” said Mayor Dianne Watts. “This increase in volunteerism demonstrates the commitment of our residents to make a connection with their community and is another example of the city’s commitment to strengthen community engagement.”
“In recent years we have been focused not only on recruitment, but retention of our volunteers in our programs,” said Coun. Linda Hepner, Chair of the Parks, Recreation and Sport Tourism Committee. “We have adopted an efficient online registration process and have been thinking creatively about developing roles that provide value both to our volunteers and while enhancing our programs.”
An important component of the city’s volunteer base is youth who are volunteering to gain skills and experience that will contribute to their job search. Baby boomers heading into retirement are also active volunteers as they are seeking out opportunities to stay connected to their community.
Surrey has dozens of programs that depend on volunteers to operate including festivals, parks and environment, arts and heritage, and emergency social services programs. For more information or to register as a volunteer visit www.surrey.ca/volunteer.