Nothing creates an opportunity for reflection quite like the start of a brand new year. And what a year 2018 was at Bereaved Families of Ontario – Midwestern Region.
- We celebrated our first full year of Living with Loss in Guelph. This group continues to grow and we are honoured to be providing support to this community.
- A group was launched for families grieving a death by substance use filling a critical gap in the community for families impacted by the current opioid crisis.
- For the first time, development opportunities were made possible for our volunteer facilitators to build their skills and ensure they are providing the best support for the bereaved community.
- We were able to double the number of communities in which we delivered our Anything But Merry education session and provided tips and strategies for coping with grief over the holidays. In total, 80 people participated in these sessions in Waterloo, Cambridge, Guelph, Fergus and Elmira.
We are proud of everything that was accomplished and incredibly grateful to everyone involved in making 2018 an amazing year.
Thank you to our facilitators who are the front line of our organization and provide such important support to families. Thank you to ALL the volunteers who help with our events, deliver educational presentations, provide support in the office and act as ambassadors for BFO-MR out in the community. Thank you to our donors for your confidence in us to support the community. Thank you to our Professional Advisory Committee who ensures we continue to meet the needs of grieving families. Thank you to the Board of Directors for your leadership and willingness to shake things up and take risks.
And thank you to our members for the privilege of walking with you along this journey.
As we look to the year ahead, we are excited about a number of things happening at BFO-MR that are going to change the way we serve the community.
- We were successful with an Ontario Trillium Foundation GROW grant which is enabling us to hire a full-time Outreach Coordinator to build awareness and grow our Living with Loss program for adults grieving the death of a loved one by substance use. Having someone dedicated to being out in the community and talking about that program as well as everything else we do at BFO-MR will help ensure grieving individuals and families are aware of and can access the support they need.
- We were successful with a Kitchener Waterloo Community Foundation grant to launch a grief support program for children ages 8 to 12. There are currently very limited resources available to families with children in this age bracket and we are pleased to be filling this gap in the community. Watch for more information about this new program coming soon.
- BFO-MR offers a biennial conference and 2019 is a conference year! This year’s topic is traumatic grief. We are in the early planning stages and look forward to sharing more information about this and other educational opportunities we are working on.
- With thanks to some amazingly generous supporters, there are LOTS of other really exciting and incredible things happening at BFO-MR. We can’t wait to tell you all about it.
The photo included with this post was chosen with purpose. It speaks to growth, opportunity and a renewed sense of determination. It is representative of hope, strength and potential. It speaks to everything being made possible in 2019. We look forward to sharing more as we embark on an awesome year for BFO-MR and the community we serve.