May 22, 2024

Celebrating Community Support: SWDPC’s Commitment to Camp Stepping Stones and Palliative Care

Celebrating Community Support: SWDPC’s Commitment to Camp Stepping Stones and Palliative Care

Earlier this week, we had the honor of attending the South West District Palliative Care (SWDPC) Annual General Meeting, where we gratefully accepted a generous donation on behalf of Camp Stepping Stones.

Camp Stepping Stones is an annual grief camp for youth, offered by the Interlake-Eastern Regional Health Authority (IERHA) Palliative Care program. This camp provides a safe and nurturing environment for young individuals coping with loss, enabling them to embark on a journey of healing and remembrance. The camp’s existence and continued success are made possible by the support of donors and volunteers.

This year, the SWDPC’s contribution will cover the costs of the welcome dinner for campers, their caregivers, and volunteers. Additionally, the funds will support meaningful camp activities including the creation of dreamcatchers and memory boxes, allowing campers to craft cherished keepsakes and express their emotions creatively.

“Camp Stepping Stones is such an incredible and important program for these young people,” says Averill Stephenson, Executive Director of the Interlake Eastern Health Foundation. “The camp is funded entirely through donations, and SWDPC has been a steadfast supporter for many years. Because of them, these kids have access to this program as part of their grief journey, and we are deeply thankful for their continued support.”

The support of palliative care by SWDPC extends far beyond Camp Stepping Stones. Since its inception in 1997, SWDPC has been a pillar of support for clients and their families in the municipalities of Rockwood, Rosser, Woodlands, part of Armstrong, and the towns of Stonewall and Teulon. Their mission encompasses aiding those with declining health and providing essential grief support.

SWDPC is now also part of the Nav-CARE program, which trains volunteer navigators to assist individuals living with deteriorating health.

Since 2012, SWDPC has supported IERHA’s palliative care programs with donations exceeding $107,000. These funds have been instrumental in procuring equipment and comfort items for patients and families, enhancing training and resources for staff, and, of course, supporting Camp Stepping Stones.

“At the Interlake Eastern Health Foundation, we are committed to collaborating with the community to support healthcare initiatives and enhance health and healthcare in the Interlake-Eastern region,” says Stephenson. “We are grateful for the partnership with SWDPC and appreciative of all they do in our communities. They were trailblazers in establishing palliative care volunteers and raised funds to hire the first program coordinator in 2000. They continue to support patients and families, ensuring individuals receive the necessary support through programs like Nav-CARE.”

SWDPC, your contributions not only make Camp Stepping Stones possible but also enrich the lives of countless families navigating the challenging path of grief and loss. Thank you!

Pictured is Averill Stephenson, Executive Director IEHF with the board of SWDPC.

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