Volunteer at PRDA
Volunteers are the backbone of any equine services program; our volunteers are wonderful and help our programs run smoothly. We like to say that volunteers are the “manpower” behind the “horsepower.” That is true at PRDA. Without volunteers, we would not be able to fulfill our mission of providing equine services to children and adults of varying abilities. Whether you want to volunteer your time, donate money or services, or sponsor a rider or a horse, we cannot do it without you.
Volunteering at PRDA is much more than a regular donation of time or service. It involves becoming part of a larger community.
Our volunteers participate in all aspects of our activities, and do so as individuals, members of work groups, families, and participants in community service programs. They give their time, talents, and energy to help support PRDA and the people it serves. No experience with horses necessary!
A desire to join our team and help our riders achieve their own personal success is all that we ask. We need volunteers to help groom and tack the horses, lead and sidewalk with our riders during lessons, muck stalls, help with feeding, and any number of other things that come up each week.
Volunteers need to be a minimum of 16 years old. However, if you are at least 14 years old and have a experience with horses, you may want to consider completing the volunteer application as well. We ask that volunteers commit to volunteering every week. You need to be able to walk for 30 minutes in deep sand and jog for short distances if you want to volunteer with our classes. The ability to lift a maximum or 50 pounds is also helpful, especially when it comes to feeding the horses or tacking / untacking them.
Benefits of Volunteering
There are many personal benefits of volunteering your time and talents. At PRDA, these include:
- Learning new skills and gaining experience working with people and horses
- Building your resume
- Getting fresh air and exercise
- Gaining references for school and work
- Being part of a fun and rewarding experience
- Meeting new friends
- Spending time with horses
- Enjoying a positive and supportive environment
What We Ask of You
- Commitment and reliability
- Willingness to learn and put forth good effort
- Effective communication
- Adherence to policies and procedures
- Being kind and respectful of others, both people and the animals that call PRDA home
Become a Volunteer
We value our volunteers and want you to be successful in your new role, whether you come once a week for a few hours, or several times a week for extended periods of time. Some of the activities performed by volunteers include:
- Assisting riders during classes as a horse handler or side walker
- Assisting with chores around the barn
- Work projects around the property
- Fundraising and event planning
Here is the step-by-step process of what it takes to become a volunteer at PRDA:
- COMPLETE A VOLUNTEER APPLICATION
The Volunteer Application Forms include a volunteer information form, consent, a release of liability form, a confidentially form, and a Criminal Record Check Letter. Please complete and sign all of the forms.
- SUBMIT THE COMPLETED APPLICATION
Once you have completed the application package, please return it to us in whichever way is most convenient for you:
- Email to the Volunteer Coordinator
- Mail/Drop Off to the Volunteer Coordinator PRDA 1088 208th Street Langley BC V2Z 1T4
- Fax to 604-530-8617
- COMPLETE A CRIMINAL RECORD CHECK
If you are 18 years old or older, you MUST complete a Criminal Record Check before you are able to begin volunteering. The Criminal Record Check Letter should be taken to your local police detachment, where you will be given the forms to complete to get it done. In most cases when the police have completed the report, it will be mailed to the Volunteer Coordinator at PRDA.
Guidelines for Volunteering
PRDA is a friendly and welcoming place. As such, it is important to be aware of these guidelines and what is expected of our volunteers. If you're curious, staff follow similar guidelines. Ensuring that we're all on the same page and can pitch in together helps our programs run successfully.
- The minimum age for volunteers is 14 with horse experience (and contingent upon an interview) or 16 without horse experience
- Volunteers MUST complete a background Criminal Record Check except for Group Volunteers (project based) and Court Mandated volunteers
- ALL volunteers are required to attend a New Volunteer Orientation and Training Session
- Volunteering in therapeutic riding lessons involves moderate physical activity. Make sure you are comfortable with the physicality of the role you have selected. For instance, if you want to volunteer during lessons, you will be walking and doing some jogging in a sand arena and be on your feet for up to two hours at a time. If you are looking for a volunteer opportunity that is less physically demanding, volunteering mucking stalls is a great alternative.
- Lesson volunteers do not need to have previous horse experience but a level of comfort with horses is helpful
- Lesson volunteers must be available a minimum of 2 hours per week (same day and time each week) OR volunteers can be substitutes in classes, filling in for the regular weekly volunteers when needed
- New volunteers are allowed to register for the roles they are interested in after attending a New Volunteer Orientation and Training Session, and will be scheduled based on interest, experience, and availability
- PRDA reserves the right to make the final determination as to the appropriateness of volunteers for our organization
- PRDA does enforce a dress code to ensure that volunteers can perform their roles safely