Matthews House Hospice getting grant for new storytelling program

 Margo Cooney, Board President, Kim Woodland, CEO and Debra Walker Coordinator of the live on legacy storytelling program

Margo Cooney, Board President, Kim Woodland, CEO and Debra Walker Coordinator of the live on legacy storytelling program

COMMUNITY 02:00 PM Alliston Herald

Matthews House Hospice has received $72,700 from the Ontario Trillium Foundation for its new Live on Legacy Storytelling Program. The program was officially launched Oct. 19. President of the board of directors Margo Cooney (left) is pictured with CEO Kim Woodland and Storytelling Coordinator Debra Walker. - Brad Pritchard/Metroland

UPDATED — Matthews House Hospice in Alliston is receiving $72,700 from the Ontario Trillium Foundation for its new Live on Legacy Storytelling Program.

The hospice held an open house Oct. 19 to kick off the launch of the new program.

The program will provide access, inspiration and opportunity for people of all ages to record, preserve, and share their life stories, according to hospice spokesperson Andrea Roylance.

She said it will be co-ordinated by a program lead and facilitated by trained volunteers, adding community members will have the opportunity to participate in audio and video interviews using provided equipment.

Roylance said the program is intended to transfer wisdom from one generation to the next, and to leave a compelling legacy for the future.

At the kickoff, the hospice's president of the board of directors Margo Cooney noted that humans have shared stories from the beginning of time.

"We will have the opportunity to record those stories, either in video form, audio form, through pictorial collages, any form that the individual would like to share their history and their legacy, and the history and legacies of these individuals are what we South Simcoe, the amazing region that it is, through the gifts, triumphs and tragedies that people have suffered and enjoyed throughout their lifetime," she said.

Storytelling co-ordinator Debra Walker will oversee the program.

"I've had the honour of being part of Matthews House Hospice for two years ... and one of the most magnetic parts of it is that you have the opportunity to hear stories," she said, adding she sincerely appreciates the Trillium Foundation for its support.

She talked about the importance of sharing people's legacies with future generations.

"It's up to us to capture as many life lessons as we can," she said.

The legacies will be featured in the reflections room on the second floor.

“As the hub for the delivery of integrated hospice palliative care services in our community, we are thrilled to be able to provide this important program enabling our families and communities to celebrate and enjoy their legacy through stories at this time and in the future,” said Kim Woodland, Matthews House Hospice CEO.

For more information visit www.matthewshousehospice.ca.