Back where it belongs!
After two years of hosting a virtual walk because of the pandemic, Hospice Simcoe’s Hike for Hospice returns in person on Sunday, May 1 at Sunnidale Park in Barrie. Hospice Simcoe executive director Kelly Hubbard is thrilled they can hike as a community again.
“Our fundraising goal is $130,000, and virtually we raised $110,000 last year as a community,” says Hubbard.
Fundraising is so critical to allow Hospice Simcoe to provide a variety of services to both people experiencing an end-of-life illness and to their caregivers.
“We receive about 50 per cent of our operating budget from the government, which is about $1.2 million, so we fundraise about $1.3 million,” Hubbard explains.
Hospice Simcoe offers a variety of community programs.
“Anybody that is dying from a life-limiting illness can reach out to our community programs and receive programming at home,” says Hubbard. “We provide caregiver support and caregiver education on how to care for somebody when they’re dying at home. We have day programs that people can get involved with providing emotional support and also doing advanced care planning for those that want some assistance on how to do those plans moving forward.”
Another huge component of what Hospice Simcoe offers is bereavement support. Hubbard says it has been magnified during the pandemic as people were separated from loved ones and not able to say goodbye.
“That has been challenging, and it makes grief complicated,” she acknowledges. “We know that our community is suffering right now from experiencing this complicated grief. Our bereavement support has increased over the last while. We know our caregivers are needing support like our health care providers are needing support. We are doing what we can to keep up.”
Hubbard says the expansion of the bereavement program was made possible thanks to some one-time funding.
Of course, there is also the residential program at the Barrie facility. Hospice Simcoe offers 10 end-of-life care beds where pain and symptom management and spiritual support are provided to those experiencing a life-ending illness.
Hubbard says people don’t have to be at the walk to fundraise. She says there are opportunities for individuals to donate online or do a hike at their own leisure in their own favourite park or on their favourite trail.
Banner image: Hospice Simcoe/Barrie