Celebrating National Volunteer Week 2020
In honour of National Volunteer Week, we are putting the spotlight on City of Surrey's volunteers!
It’s National Volunteer Week (April 19-25), and we want to take this opportunity to highlight some of the amazing contributions our volunteers have made this past year. The following volunteers all give generously to their communities, and are just a few of countless volunteers who help City of Surrey residents everyday.
While volunteer opportunities at the City are temporarily on hold due to COVID-19, opportunities are still available throughout your community. For example, the United Way is connecting volunteers in the lower mainland with local opportunities to ensure everyone in our communities gets the help they need during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In anticipation of our future volunteer opportunities, we will still be accepting new applications to some of our programs. However, new applications will not be processed until we return to normal business operations. Visit our Volunteer portal for further details. We look forward to welcoming back our volunteers soon!
Now let’s meet a few of Surrey’s dedicated volunteers!
Surrey Animal Resource Centre
As a volunteer at the Surrey Animal Resource Centre, Cass’s primary task is walking and playing with the dogs that are up for adoption. “I love seeing their personalities shine while we’re out for a walk or playing fetch in the yard,” says Cass, whose most memorable moments while volunteering are taking early morning walks with her favourite dog, Gunner.
In addition to walking the dogs, Cass also brings adoptable dogs to weekly nosework classes, and she has also started fostering cats. “I volunteer because I love dogs and I want to give them as many positive experiences as I can while they’re in the shelter. The staff I work with are amazing! You can really see how much they love and care for each animal. I always look forward to my volunteer shifts.”
Surrey RCMP, Block Watch Captain
Sue Tuttle has been Lexington Square's Block Watch Captain since 2014 and has contributed greatly to the safety and beautification of her neighbourhood since that time. “Since being Block Watch Captain, the park near our complex has been cleaned up, neighbours are keeping cars clean and locked, garage windows covered, and doors locked. People will check on each other, let someone know if a garage door is left open, and keep a watch on places if someone is away,” she explains.
Of the experience so far, Sue says what she enjoys the most is connecting with her neighbours and working with them to create a safer neighbourhood. “Being a Block Watch Captain is perfect fit for my busy lifestyle. I can contribute to my community, interact with my neighbours, help wherever I can. I have also made many close friends.”
Parks, Recreation & Culture – Aquatics Programs
As a volunteer for Surrey’s aquatics programs, Linden Redekop assists lifeguards in maintaining a safe pool deck and supports Water Safety Instructors during swimming lessons.
“What I enjoy most are the diverse groups I am able to work with. Volunteering has allowed me to prepare for the wide variety of situations within the workplace,” Linden says. “My most memorable moment during volunteering has to be one of my first days teaching swimming lessons as a Water Safety Instructor. I was not well-versed with the ins and outs of the lifeguarding world, yet I was taken under the wing of an instructor who supported me in expanding my knowledge and skills.”
Parks, Recreation & Culture – Aquatics Programs
Another volunteer with Surrey’s aquatics programs, Sam Hunter helps teach kids how to swim and feel more comfortable in the water. “I have enjoyed getting a much better understanding of how to teach students who have a difficult time both getting into the water and understanding the swimming skills required.
“The most memorable moment is when I was able to help a student get used to the water over the course of a week. On the first day he was scared of the water and on the last day he was able to do all the strokes,” Sam shares. “When I saw the student improve his skills over time, I felt more confident in my ability to teach swimming lessons.”
Parks, Recreation & Culture Special Events
Special Events volunteer Sydney Cao helps make sure the City’s biggest events go off without a hitch. As a volunteer, her role is to greet and welcome guests, ensure guests are all having a great time, and assist with setup and take down. “Volunteering makes me genuinely happy. Meeting new people, giving back to the community, and gaining leadership skills is what inspires me to volunteer,” she says.
Sydney was at both Children’s Festival and Tree Lighting Festival last year and looks back at both events fondly. “I had such a blast at the Children’s Festival because I got the chance to dance with little kids and make buttons. I want people to know that volunteering with the City of Surrey is an amazing opportunity. The staff are generous, and they will make sure you get the most out of your experience.”
Parks, Recreation & Culture – Peer Mentorship Program
As a volunteer with the City’s Peer Mentorship Program, Camryn’s primary role was guiding her younger peers through the creation of their Community Action Project. “I got the opportunity to collaborate with elementary-age students in an after-school program to identify the issues they saw in their daily lives. We then used our problem-solving skills to approach and solve them,” she recalls. “The kids I spoke with all had interesting stories to share, and I could really tell they appreciated being listened to by an older peer. It was such a powerful experience!”
Through her volunteer work, Camryn got to meet wonderful people and loved the sense of teamwork involved. “I'm so thankful I got the opportunity to volunteer with the City of Surrey! It was a really fulfilling experience and I would recommend everyone to volunteer with Surrey at least once!"
Surrey Nature Centre Host
As a Surrey Nature Centre Host, Muntaqim Syed ensures visitors to the facility all have a great experience. “I am always meeting new people with such interesting and varied personalities,” he says of his experience so far. “It is very inspiring to see so many diverse people come together. The Family Day event at the Nature Centre is a great example. I was happy to be apart of all the families who had joyful experiences at this event.”
Muntaqim believes volunteering is a worthwhile experience that doesn’t just pay in volunteer hours. “It pays you back with a lot of memories and a lot of new skills. You may become a better person. I know I did," he says. “Volunteering with the City of Surrey makes me feel good about myself; that I’m doing something that will affect my community.”
Surrey Fire Service HomeSafe Program
Having the opportunity to be invited into someone's home, identifying their need for a smoke and carbon monoxide alarm, and being able to provide that free of charge to them, are the things Mike Ferguson appreciates the most about being a volunteer with Surrey’s HomeSafe Program.
“Seeing the residents of this amazing city light up with gratitude by having a city volunteer take the time to knock on their door, educate them with life-saving information, and be able to provide life-saving equipment at no cost, is a wonderful feeling,” he says. “By far the most enjoyable thing is knowing that when we are done, families are much safer in an emergency. There are so many programs within the City that wouldn't be made possible without the help of volunteers. Whether you are available multiple times every week, or a few times a year, there is a spot for you! All you need is a great attitude and the City of Surrey will supply the rest."
Learn more about volunteering with the City of Surrey.