Joanne Ritchie program coordinator for Prince Rupert and District Hospice Society announces the inaugural Hike for Hospice to be held on May 1, along the city’s waterfront. (Photo: K-J Millar/The Northern View)

Joanne Ritchie program coordinator for Prince Rupert and District Hospice Society announces the inaugural Hike for Hospice to be held on May 1, along the city’s waterfront. (Photo: K-J Millar/The Northern View)

Inaugural Hike for Hospice to remember loved ones and support grief programs

Prince Rupert and District Hospice Society is looking for volunteers

Hike for Hospice is a new planned annual event to raise awareness of the programs offered to the community and also fundraise for the non-profit society.

The inaugural event is on May 1 at 1 p.m. and has different length hikes allowing for all abilities, plus pledges are welcome.

Joanne Ritchie, Prince Rupert and District Hospice Society coordinator, said the organization wants to see people supporting hospice and the community by hiking in remembrance of loved ones.

The event is being held across Canada, and in Prince Rupert, there will be three different lengths of return walks, starting with a 1.5 km from Mariners Park to Kwinista. The mid-length hike is 2.2 km to Canfisco returning to the waterfront park, and the longest is 3.6 km from Mariners to Kwinista to Canfisco and return. To register for the hike, participants can email: princeruperthospice@gmail.com

Many people come into contact with various hospice services and programs through the loss of a loved one.

“Hospice does a range of things. We do volunteer training. We can help you process your grief or help you with your advanced care planning because we never know what’s going to happen tomorrow. We can also just simply be a person for you.”

Hospice is a prelude to grief, Ritchie said and in no way hastens death.

“We come in when there is no more medical intervention that can happen. We are here to help with the process and take the pressure off loved ones.”

Hospice volunteers can sit with patients so they aren’t alone and can offer comfort to loved ones through a listening ear while assisting with the grieving process.

One of the programs offered by Hospice is Journey Through Grief, a nine-week support group for adults over 19 who are grieving the death of a loved one. The program is an opportunity for the bereaved to connect to others sharing the same journey. Participants learn what to expect while being taught new skills to manage emotions and processes to help them through.

The next session starts on April 20 and registration is required by calling the Hospice office at 250 622 6204.

“There is no time limit on grief,” Ritchie said, adding the organization is looking for more people to help.

Prince Rupert Hospice Society relies on volunteers for program enactment and connecting with community members. Volunteers are fully trained and take over 30 hours of initial education just to get started. They can continue on with further training as circumstances permit under one of the four compassion and care program avenues offered to the Prince Rupert community.

READ MORE: Hospice is concerned COVID-19 is silencing grief


 
K-J Millar | Editor and Multi-Media Journalist 
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