Continuing Our Mission
The year 2020 was a significant one for Hospice of Waterloo Region, including the launch of our new logo and colours, and the construction of a new location. And like so many organizations, we also had to deal with the unexpected challenge of COVID-19.
While there were initial concerns about the impact of the pandemic, construction of our new home moved forward without interruption. With an expected opening in early 2021, our vision for this one-of-a-kind facility is coming to life.
The Gies Family Centre
The Gies Family Centre is the result of a compelling vision, many years of hard work, and the incredible support of our community. With the creation of a home that will allow us to expand community supports and introduce the Cook Family Residence with 10 residence hospice beds, we will offer a full continuum of care to those living with an end-of-life illness and their caregivers.
New logo and colours
Along with a new home, we are also launching a new look to our logo. This fresh look incorporates many of the elements and values of our organization. The four overlapping coloursrepresent the four areas of the region we have served since our inception in 1993 – Kitchener, Waterloo, Cambridge and our surrounding rural townships. The colours chosen are vibrant and communicate a message of interconnected community, hope and optimism for the future.
Responding to COVID-19
And while the COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on how Hospice of Waterloo Region delivers our programs and services, we were able to adjust to a new normal very quickly.
In the early days of the pandemic, staff moved to working from home, and immediately arranged for all Hospice clients to receive telephone support from volunteers instead of the usual face-to-face visits or groups. Counselling services were also shifted to telephone support. As staff stayed in constant communication with their clients, new needs were quickly identified. Issues of food security and social isolation were high for those at home dealing with serious illness. In response, staff have become directly involved in providing and arranging very practical supports including grocery and meal deliveries and lending technology devices to allow for remote supports.
We were so very impressed with how our staff and volunteers were able to shift gears quickly and provide uninterrupted support to our clients and their families. Staff continue to reimagine the way we deliver our programs so that clients and families will feel both supported and safe when receiving service from us.
Events, and so much more
The pandemic did not stop HWR from hosting events and programs for the public.
- Our annual Hike for Hospice went virtual this year, and we added the option of biking. The 2020 Hike and Bike for Hospice event raised over $43,000!
- We hosted a number of Advance Care Planning online sessions as well as several book chats in partnership with the Waterloo Public Library.
- We launched our first-ever short-film competition — #YODOContest: You Only Die Once — in partnership with the Grand River Film Festival (we recently announced a shortlist of filmmakers).
- And our Making Hospice a Home campaign, launched in fall 2020, will help us add touches of kindness, warmth and hospitality to The Gies Family Centre.
During this unprecedented time, Hospice of Waterloo Region has proven itself to be a strong, secure and stable organization that can withstand times of adversity and continue to envision a new future. As we look towards 2021, we will continue to keep the needs of our clients in the forefront.
All the best for the holiday season, and we wish all of you a very Happy New Year!