Submitted by Christina Mereu, Bruce Peninsula Hospice Volunteer
Twenty-five years ago, individuals began receiving the compassionate care and support of the earliest volunteers of Bruce Peninsula Hospice. It was in the early 1990s that three members of Lion’s Head Anglican Church first 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.
Training volunteers, providing visiting hospice care and doing public education were the aims established by those early visionaries. They were soon joined by caring individuals from Wiarton, Tobermory, Cape Croker and Sauble Beach, and from those efforts Bruce Peninsula Hospice was born.
This year marks our 25th anniversary of caring service and we feel proud. At this time of COVID-19 we are unable to gather and celebrate…truly a sadness. So, we look to the printed word to honour and to give thanks to all. Albeit virtually, we shout out from the sandy shores of Lake Huron, we shout out from the tip of Tobermory and we shout out from the heights of all those rocky ledges that make this our unique peninsula home. We give our thanks because our lives are deeply enriched by all the volunteers who give their time and skills and share their own lived experiences…. We shout out our hurrays to all the kind and open hearts of our community who have given care and who have received support thereby holding us strong, accountable and compassionate.
Over the years, Bruce Peninsula Hospice has brought care and compassion to over 1,000 local individuals and their families. We have provided specialized training to over 200 volunteers. The support we have been able to offer individuals grieving in the community has grown. We have collaborated with many local organizations and service clubs and we have engaged hundreds in community dialogue and education. Our client care survey of family members reveals 100% satisfaction. We shout hurray from the green of our trails, the snowy white tips of our cedars and from the blue of our waters. We can proudly say the original aims of our early hospice pioneers still hold today as our guiding principles.
For 25 years, individuals and their families have given us their trust by inviting us into their special circle of care. Time and experience have taught us a few things about living fully and dying well. We have been honoured to be a compassionate presence in the lives of so many.