Volunteer Hospice News - 2024 Spring Edition

This is our second edition of this seasonal newsletter. Please let us know if you have liked this edition and what other items you may like to see in these quarterly newsletters.

Catch up here with our Winter Newsletter HERE.

Who We Are

Robyn Collins,

Clinical Manager

Before accepting the role as Clinical Manager earlier this year, my 22 years of nursing experiences include Corrections, ICU, ER, Oncology, and PACU.

I joined the nursing staff at Ed’s House Northumberland Hospice Care Centre upon it’s opening in 2020.

I am excited to take on the challenges that my new role presents and learn along the way. In doing so, I look forward to meeting many of volunteers along the way.

A little about me as a person: my fiancé and I live in Trenton. I am mother of 4. The eldest is 17 and the youngest is 2.

I have a passion for stained glass. This was a skill taught to me by my father as a young child and one that I enjoy as an adult as well.

Becca Orban,

Hospice Clinical Navigator

I am going into my 9th year as a Registered Nurse.

Throughout my career, I have worked in many fields including complex continuing care to acute care, surgery, rehab, cardiology, and palliative care. Following two personal experiences in hospice, I took some time to reflect and think about my career. I realized that hospice palliative care is where I felt I belonged. Since being a family member in hospice care, I felt that I had a unique perspective and appreciation for this work and felt drawn to pay that appreciation forward. I feel it is an honour to learn about people and to walk alongside them on their journey.

Outside of being a nurse, anybody who knows me knows I am absolutely obsessed with my dogs. I have two Portuguese Water dogs who are my favourite bundles of love! Nothing brings me more joy than hiking with my dogs or taking them to our family cottage in the summer time.

Message from our Director, Hospice Services – Sherry Gibson

Hello everyone,

I am delighted to let you know that we are now a 10 bed hospice and we have admissions to our new suites!   The expansion remained on budget and within the scheduled timeline.  We will be expecting some minor decorating over the next couple of months to ensure the suites look and feel home-like. We are adding on Personal Support Workers to complement our nursing staff. Beginning on April 15th is Shannon, full time PSW and Danielle, casual PSW. We will be filling more positions in the future.

One of the changes that has come with the increase to our beds is that Karen Bellamy, Supportive Care Counsellor has been relocated from her office in the lower level to the main level break room. This will allow her to better meet the needs of more residents and families in our suites, while still meeting her obligations to those living in the community.  You are encouraged to use the lower-level kitchen with its amenities – fridge, microwave, coffee maker, table and chairs. There is also a very large closet adjacent to the education room for your footwear, coats and other personal belongings. I encourage you to keep valuables locked in your vehicle if you cannot keep them close by during your shift.

I am pleased that Lori Groves has joined our staff as Therapeutic Garden Coordinator. Lori will be working from now until November managing our lawn and gardens and getting our landscape design plan started.  Lori has helped with the maintenance of our garden as a volunteer with Northumberland Master Gardeners, and I can’t wait to see what magic she works with our garden volunteers this season. will still be working closely with Nancy with garden volunteers

We were successful in securing New Horizons funding for our Mourning Transitions grief and bereavement support groups, there will be some minor changes to the way the program is rolled out over the next year, and we are grateful for the funding support to enable us to continue to offer these supports. 

April brings us the opportunity to recognize your unique talents, skills and experiences as a Community Care Northumberland hospice volunteer during National Volunteer Week April 14-20. The theme this year is “Making Every Moment Matter” and I hope that you can join us as we celebrate your service on Wednesday April 17th at noon at the Keeler Centre in Colborne for fellowship and recognition. 

With gratitude,


Ed’s House Kitchen News

Pudding & Jello for Days...

Donna continues to manage the kitchen at Ed’s House. She is excited to have two new casual staff to assist her and the kitchen volunteers to ensure they are providing an exceptional culinary experience for the residents. 

The photo is of Bernadette (Bernie) Klotz (Food Service Assistant), Joan Rolph (volunteer), Sherry Gibson (Director of Hospice Services), and Deborah (Deb) Montgomery (Food Service Assistant). Joan and her fellow Inner Wheel members kindly make a monthly donation to Ed’s House, as you can see the donation in this photo was Jello and pudding. 

Gardening News at Ed’s House

A new gardening season is just around the corner, and we are seeing new growth in the gardens. We are looking for garden volunteers. You don’t have to be an expert you just need to enjoy gardening and be willing to work with the experts on the team. We will be having a Garden Volunteer meeting at Ed’s House on April 10th at 4:30pm. If you are interested in learning more about how you can become a part of the gardening team, please join us. If you have any questions, please reach out by email to n.bruce@commcare.ca or call 855-473-8875. 

Music Moments at Ed’s House

Music moments will be starting up early in May for the residents and their families to enjoy. 

You will find us on the back deck, weather permitting. If you are onsite, please feel free to pop out and enjoy the musical offering.

If you or someone you know have musical talent to share, please reach out to Nancy at n.bruce@commcare.ca 

Direct Support and Reception Volunteers

We have had 3 successful training sessions for the Direct Support Volunteers who provide support to the clinical staff, residents, and their families at Ed’s House. This gives us a total of 12 active volunteers for this role. We continue to require additional volunteers for Reception. This role is vital in making the families feel welcome and at home when coming through the front door of Ed’s House.


If you want to expand your volunteer experience or have a friend who would like to become a volunteer at Ed’s House Northumberland Hospice Care Centre, please email Nancy Bruce at n.bruce@commcare.ca or call 1-855-473-8875 ext. 165.

Bereavement/Palliative Telephone Support Volunteers

In conjunction with our Bereavement Counsellor, we are always in need of volunteers to assist in facilitating our Bereavement support groups.

If you are interested in assisting with Bereavement support and have not received the training, please contact Katie at k.stevenson@commcare.ca to be added to the list for upcoming training. 

Community Visiting Hospice Volunteers

Thank you to our community volunteers for driving to various homes throughout our county providing much needed respite for caregivers and a friendly face for the clients we serve.

If you have time once a week to sit with a client for 1-3 hours, get to know them and their families, it is a truly rewarding experience.

Specifically, we have a need for more respite volunteers in Brighton and Trent Hills!

Email Katie at k.stevenson@commcare.ca or call 1-885-473-8875 ext.161 for more information on these opportunities.

Hospice Happenings!

On February 23rd we held our “Winter Warm Up”, which was a social opportunity for our dedicated Hospice volunteers to get together and share some stories and get to know each other a little more. The afternoon went very well with excellent treats provided by Donna and her kitchen staff. Fresh tulips were on each table with draws to win and take them home. Nancy and Katie hope to have more of these gatherings in the future. 

Advance Care Planning Day!

If Not You, Who? 

Who would you trust to make your healthcare decisions?

Planning for your future healthcare needs is important. So, we’re asking: Do you know what would happen if you couldn’t decide for yourself? Who would you trust to make those healthcare decisions for you? 

You have the power to choose who that person is. They can be a family member, a friend, or anyone in your life that you trust to make the kinds of healthcare decisions you would want. 

Think about who you would trust with making those important decisions for you. 

Think about what matters most in your life and how that might help guide someone in making the kinds of healthcare decisions you would want.  

The best time to think about this is now when you can make decisions for yourself.

April 16th is Advance Care Planning Day. So, ask yourself: If not you, who?  Do you know what would happen if you couldn’t decide for yourself? Who would you trust to make those healthcare decisions for you? 

Please view the resources below:

>Advance Care Planning Video

>Walter Gretzky’s ACP Story

Dates to Remember

April 17thCommunity Care Northumberland’s Volunteer Appreciation event at Keeler Centre.

3rd Wednesday of every month from 12-1 Virtual Meeting – Regional Ethical Rounds for staff and volunteers - attendance optional. If you are interested, please reach out to Katie or Nancy to receive the link to the meeting.

May 20th – Victoria Day Holiday – CCN Offices closed – Ed’s House open to families and friends.

As we plan for the upcoming months, we will send you any additional important dates by email.

Volunteer Opportunities with CCN

If you want to expand your volunteer experience or have a friend who is looking to become a volunteer, please email Nancy Bruce at n.bruce@commcare.ca for more information. 

Volunteer Opportunities
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