Sheryl Burgess, on left, and Joann Brecht, from the Comer Station Convenience Store, hold up one of the Williams Lake Hospice wildflower donation boxes which will be hosted by the store during the month of May. (Carrie Julius photo)

Sheryl Burgess, on left, and Joann Brecht, from the Comer Station Convenience Store, hold up one of the Williams Lake Hospice wildflower donation boxes which will be hosted by the store during the month of May. (Carrie Julius photo)

May is hospice palliative care awareness month

Williams Lake Hospice society has been active in the community for over 25 years

Hospice services are as diverse as wildflowers, explain hospice staff.

May is the national awareness month for Hospice and Palliative Care, and to bring awareness to the local society, the city of Williams Lake proclaims May as Hospice Palliative Care Awareness Month each year.

As part of that proclamation, the non-profit society’s goal is to provide awareness as well as fundraising opportunities for businesses and community members to support hospice services and honour friends, loved ones and neighbours who are no longer with us.

The organization’s fundraising initiatives include: wildflower seed donation boxes, sales of Meals and Memories cookbooks, the Hike for Hospice event, and an ongoing bottle drive at the Williams Lake Return-it Depot.

Over the month of May, look for wildflower seed donation boxes at: Rona, The Heeler, The Open Book, Still North Design, Fox Mountain Brewing, Margetts Meats,Bell, Broom, and Cauldron, Marshall’s Store, Hub International, Insurance, Comer Station Store, and Fox Mountain Urban Upcycle.

Sign up for the Hike for Hospice Fundraiser and every day in May you run, walk or roll you can raise funds in memory or in honour of a loved one. Pick up a Hike for Hospice pledge form at Hub International Insurance, email admin@williamslakehospice.com, message Williams Lake Hospice on Facebook or call 250-392-5430. Let them know you have completed your hike or walk and your name will be entered into a draw at the end of the month. Sending a photo from your hike will net you a bonus entry as well.

Supporters can also purchase a Meals and Memories cookbook at Fox Mountain Urban Upcycle.

Meals and Memories cook books were made in honour of community member Pat Cross and the book contains many family recipes. They are on sale for $10 for the month of May.

Hospice services are volunteer driven, and the society hopes to grow their volunteer base in 2022.

Volunteers and staff are trained to provide services and comfort to individuals who are facing life limiting illness or requiring end of life care.

From going into homes and facilities to provide psychological, social and emotional support for people nearing the end of life and their families, there is a range of what hospice volunteers and staff are able to offer.

What hospice does not do is provide medical care, though hospice workers and volunteers are often working within the health care system by taking referrals from health care staff.

People who have been given terminal diagnoses can get anticipatory grief support and when a family member has passed, family can get bereavement support.

Sometimes it can be a delayed need, as initially friends and family gather for support, but later some might still need support longer with the loss.

“We kind of work together as a team to make sure nobody falls through the cracks,” said Daphne Johnson, executive director for the Williams Lake Hospice Society.

Kind and compassionate volunteers are truly the heart of hospice.

Anyone who is interested in becoming a volunteer contact the WLHS office 250-392-5430 to be added to the interest list.

These community donations help the group to provide services like: advance care planning, caregiver support, education, advocacy, community awareness, social, emotional, and spiritual support, grief and bereavement services.

Hospice services are always free of charge.

They also provide education, advocacy and community awareness in palliative care and grief support.

The organization receives referrals from local physicians, Cariboo Memorial Hospital, Home and Community Care, Williams Lake Seniors Village, and community members.

Williams Lake Hospice society has been active in the community for over 25 years.


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