Bereaved Families of Ontario – South-Eastern Ontario
November 17, 2020
The third Tuesday of November is National Bereavement Day in Canada, a day when, amongst other things, grief and bereavement supports are formally recognized as essential elements of living well with grief. This year, we are pleased to announce that Bereaved Families of Ontario (BFO), will be returning to our community!
It has been almost a year and a half since the beloved BFO closed its doors in Cornwall. Since then, the community has become more and more aware of how critical it is to have peer grief support services offered by trained and dedicated volunteers. While explorations began last fall about how these services could be returned to the community, it was this past COVID summer that allowed a few ‘devoted to the cause’ individuals to begin working diligently with Jane Smart, Chair, BFO and Lorrie Beaton, Program Director at BFO Ottawa, to develop a sustainable and enduring local BFO affiliate going forward.
“We are so excited to have BFO peer services return to South-Eastern Ontario and look forward to working with the dedicated volunteers who made this possible.”
Jane Smart, Chair, BFO
As part of an initiative of the Suicide Prevention Coalition, along with very generous funding support from Children’s Aid Society of Stormont, Dundas & Glengarry and the United Way/Centraide (UWC SDG), we are now in the midst of laying a solid foundation to build upon to provide peer grief services throughout South-Eastern Ontario. Understandably, this will take time, but an excellent Board of Governors in in place, and the first volunteer facilitator training sessions will take place within the next few months.
“Selecting the organizations that received funds from the Federal Government’s last installment of Emergency Community Support Funds was not easy for the members of the Regional Emergency Response Council that were tasked to evaluate the applications. Since COVID has affected so many things in our lives, including how people are able to mourn, we felt it essential to ensure that anyone who experienced a loss during these difficult times found the support they needed to navigate through the grieving process.”
Juliette Labossière, Executive Director, UWC SDG
BFO South Eastern Ontario is in the preliminary reopening stages but plans to start offering some peer grief services in early 2021, COVID permitting. The links to the local BFO Facebook page and website will be forthcoming. The community will be able to start accessing these links to keep track of the steady progress to reinitiate peer grief services throughout the community.
BFO South Eastern Ontario is actively welcoming back all previous facilitators and looking to recruit and train new volunteers to meet local needs.
Anyone wishing to know more about volunteering opportunities with BFO and those who would like training to provide compassionate support to grieving others can contact us at: [email protected].
“We are the bereaved helping the bereaved to heal.”