Bethell Hospice marks 10-year anniversary with cheque donation

October 14, 2021   ·   0 Comments

By Rob Paul, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

To commemorate the 10-year anniversary of Bethell Hospice, Caledon Mayor Allan Thompson and members of Caledon Town Council made a special presentation last Wednesday (Oct. 6).

Thompson was joined by Councillors Lynn Kiernan, Jennifer Innis, Ian Sinclair, Johanna Downey, and Christina Early to present a commemorative plaque and cheque for $4,500 to staff of the hospice, honouring the milestone achievement.

The $4,500 donation came from the Town of Caledon and will be used to beautify and enhance the hospice courtyard for residents and visitors. Though funding was announced last year, the COVID-19 pandemic delayed the official plaque presentation until last week.

“Bethell Hospice is a special place. Volunteers and staff always go above-and-beyond in caring for residents and their families,” said Thompson. “Bethell Hospice is a part of the Caledon family, and we are a better community because of this incredible organization. On behalf of Town Council and our residents, I thank you for the wonderful care you provide to those at end of life, and the tremendous support you give to their families.”

Bethell Hospice is the only residential hospice serving all of Caledon, Brampton and Dufferin County, and also offers a broad range of community programs throughout Caledon.

Founded by Caledon resident Lorna Bethell, Bethell Hospice offers compassionate end-of-life care in a home-like setting, with round-the-clock professional care, headed by Medical Director Dr. Michael Gagnon, with a team of registered nurses, registered practical nurses, personal support workers, and social workers, along with countless volunteers who prepare custom meals, tend the gardens, and offer kindness and compassion to residents and their family and friends.

All programs and services at Bethell Hospice are available at no cost to residents, community clients or their families, thanks to the generosity of community donors. Since opening its doors in April 2010, Bethell Hospice has cared for over 1,500 residents and their families and served over 8,800 through their community programs over that same period.

“The Town of Caledon has been a strong advocate for Bethell Hospice since its inception, and we are so grateful for its ongoing support, and belief in the importance of Bethell Hospice in our community,” said Sanderson. “Bethell Hospice Foundation must raise over $1,500,000 each year to keep the doors of Bethell Hospice open. We are fortunate to have such tremendous support from our community, and from our Mayor and Councillors.”

Thompson says he has a personal connection to Bethell Hospice and knows firsthand why it’s such an integral part of the community.

“We’re blessed to have it,” he said. “I have to say from a personal point of view, this is where my mother passed and had her final hours and I’m sure grateful we have this place especially for people who are dying from home, and this is their last stop. Here, you can get the support and a family has time to say goodbye instead of being overwhelmed by taking care of their loved ones. To me, I just wish this place was bigger and there were more of them, but I have to say that this current government at this point in time is the first time I’ve seen a provincial government show that hospices are essential.

“It’s an essential part of the community, especially with the high cost of running a hospital it’s so important to have something like this. I think we need more hospices in our communities and Bethell Hospice is a really good model. We need to develop and build these in our communities because it’s a more cost-efficient way of delivering a service that’s better for a person who is passing on; it gives them dignity—which you do not have in a hospital, which I’ve experienced as well.”

Having a high-quality hospice is something Thompson sees as making his community unique and that’s why he and his Council want to give Bethell Hospice as much support as they can.

“The way the money formulas are, they need to fundraise, and we were able to find Town land for them to get established here, but this is something that’s essential to the community,” he said. “We need to step up and continue to do our part to support them any way we can. We’re happy we were able to be here after the delay and can be here to celebrate and show our support.”

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