The Squamish Hospice Society is getting set to mark a decade of hiking to help support hospice programs in town.
The 10th annual Hike for Hospice is set to take place on Sunday (May 6). The aim is to raise awareness and money to help local families deal with loved ones in the final stages of life.
Unlike in past years, the 2012 hike will go on a different walking route and society president Gloria Healy said it was designed to ensure that the walkers are more noticeable.
“We want to be more visible to the public,” she said, noting in past years the group has hiked at places like Nexen Beach and the Smoke Bluffs. “We’re going to meet at Nesters and then through the underpass under the bridge, through Rose Park, to the Adventure Centre and back. Some of the trails we’ve used in the past are hidden from the public so this should be a much more public event.”
Healy said the society still has a volunteer base of 20 to 25 people but that bereavement programs have increased in the past year. She added that the the society has also started a support group for children aged seven to 11. According to Healy, about 100 families a year are helped out by the society.
There are still no hospice beds in Squamish and Healy said the group continues to work toward that goal.
“There is a need for hospice beds here,” she said. “We help people at their home if that’s what they want but there are those who need to go into a facility and it would be very nice if we had that capacity in this community.”
Registration for the event takes place at 9:30 a.m. on Sunday beside Nesters Market and the hike will start at 10 a.m. Healy said anyone is welcome to show up to join them or just to make donations on the day of the hike.
“We appreciate the continued support of various groups within this community,” she said. “There are some people who don’t even know that this support exists in this community and it’s important that people know we’re here and more than willing to help in any way we can.”