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Over the years

In 1992, three persons from Lion’s Head Anglican Church shared ideas to enhance hospice care locally.  These Early Pioneers established the groundwork for one of the first volunteer organizations to provide hospice care in Grey Bruce.

Our Hospice Volunteer Visiting Service started in 1995, providing care to 15 clients in their homes, at Gateway Haven and at Golden Dawn. We have grown steadily to serve over 100 clients annually by 2019.

Worked in close collaboration with GBHS Wiarton to identify patients who would benefit from volunteer hospice support in the hospital and, in 2000, saw the dedication of a Palliative Care Room. Contributions enabled a comfortable place for patients and their family members to be within the hospital and experience a home-like setting with soft lighting, cozy seating, a cart for personal items and the Healing Garden (2004).

Word got out through our Speakers Bureau and by 2005 we had reached 22 groups and 400 individuals.  We continue to inform and expand the understanding of hospice palliative care locally reaching 300-500 people yearly.

2011 saw the introduction of formally facilitated Bereavement Support Groups with over 150 group sessions hosted since. Volunteer Grief Training Workshops and a One-to-One Bereavement Support Service launched (2013), providing a confidential, listening ear for close to 50 community referrals.

Big steps in 2012-14 with staff hiring to bring expertise and management of Volunteer Programs; web site enhancement for greater information accessibility; Hike for Hospice & Raffle initiatives to increase funding and awareness; and a five-year strategic plan to develop priorities to guide effective implementation of our community services and programs.

Specialized Volunteer Education in 2014 saw a Music Care Program started using iPods to provide specially selected music to stimulate memories, bring care and provide comfort to clients and their family members.

A specialized grief support resource for children was created to suit our sparsely populated, rural area. Sharing Time gives children and their family members a local opportunity to share their loss, feelings, hopes and worries (2016).

Launched a new Hospice Volunteer Training program, utilizing the Hospice Palliative Care Ontario’s interactive volunteer training platform with resources and facilitated classroom sessions. Enables volunteers in our community to have locally accessible training when they are interested and ready.

Collaborated with the Bruce Peninsula Association for Community Living to publish Up and Away – A Facilitators’ Guide for Providing Grief Support Groups for Adults with a Developmental Disability (2017).  A valued resource presented at five conferences regionally and nationally.

Published Stepping Stones – A Personal Conversation Planning Guide – this 20-page locally distributed workbook provides some structure for conversation, and ideas for reflection that may help reduce the awkwardness many feel when sharing hopes, values and wishes for future health and personal care.

2019 – Achieved new Full Accreditation from Hospice Palliative Care Ontario. Involving the submission of 300 pieces of evidence, this accreditation demonstrates leadership and commitment to quality in service delivery.

Client care survey of family members (2019) reveals 100% satisfaction