It takes a team to build a hospice facility
In Campbell River, there is a place that provides care for people facing end of life illness or for folks grieving the loss of loved ones. It’s the Hospice Care Centre run by the Campbell River Hospice Society.
To think that this organization was very close to being homeless is unimaginable.
But we have this wonderful facility and organization thanks to a team of caring Campbell River residents who said this service cannot disappear and so they rolled up their sleeves and got to work raising funds or in-kind service. With no government money, this team built an $800,000 hospice facility, providing a permanent home for the society and the services it provides.
That team has come to be known as the Hospice Build Team and consists of Brian Stamp, Darcy Frankland, Jim Dobinson, George Stuart, Gerry Griffin, Brett Giese and Jill Hanson.
“I was reading the (Campbell River) Mirror one day,” Brian Stamp recalls, “there was an article in the Mirror, it was telling the story of the problems that the hospice society was having.”
The society was having to move out of their rented space.
“The article said ‘What are we going to do?’” Stamp said.
Stamp picked up the phone the next day and talked to the executive director at the time and asked what were they going to do? Then a small group met with the society shortly afterwards
and heard some ideas the society had about raising money to buy an old house and renovating it.
“We immediately said as a chorus ‘no, don’t do that, you need to build a purpose-built facility,” Stamp said. “And that was the start of it.”
A subsequent round of phone calls pulled together the Build Team and the first order of business was finding a piece of land, but there was one condition about that piece of land.
“And the ground rules were, we didn’t want to pay for it,” Stamp said with a chuckle.
A number of ideas were explored and through the engagement of then-City councillor Andy Adams (now mayor), a parcel of City owned land was found and given to the project as a serviced lot.
“That was a huge hurdle to overcome,” Stamp said.
There were more to come but, in the end, numerous individuals and businesses in the community contributed to the project and on Sept. 21, 2017, the members of the Hospice Build Team officially turned over the new Hospice House building at 440 Evergreen to the Hospice Society at a celebration