Pictured above are Louise Brazier, Bereavement Services Coordinator and Amanda Tevelde, Communications, Fundraising and Community Relations Specialist, Heidi Mueller, Owner of Rushmount Equine Sports, Heather Breckles, President of Kiwanis Club of Orillia and Trooper, Hospice Orillia Facilities Dog.

Hospice Orillia was recently presented with a generous donation from the Kiwanis Club of Orillia for their newly established Youth Equine Therapy Group.

“The financial support received from the Kiwanis Club of Orillia has allowed us to expand Equine Bereavement Support Group by opening it up to youth who have experienced the loss of a loved one.” stated Louise Brazier, Bereavement Services Coordinator, Hospice Orillia “It is a welcome addition to our current offerings; often we will have a client whose children we are unable to serve but now we may have an option to offer through Hospice Orillia.”

This six-week course allows the participants a safe and compassionate space to grow through their grief. This peer support group is led by professionally trained Hospice Volunteers, under the watchful eye of the Horse Trainer. The therapy happens as the horses work their magic and allow the participants to become empowered as they groom, walk, care and sometimes work up to riding them.

“The horses seem to have an intuition that we will never fully understand but can be in awe of and appreciate. They seem to know who needs the support and will do their work of lightening the load for whoever needs it. I’ve witnessed this, hence why I use the word magic.” Brazier added.

“I can see a definite difference from start to finish when the people show up to when they leave, they have a giant smile on their faces and laughing at the end of their sessions. Some of them have even said that they are going to be happy for an entire week and can’t wait to come again,” said Heidi Mueller, Owner, of Rushmount Equine Sports.

Officials noted that due to the limited number of spaces available, this specialized program will only be offered to clients upon completion of a Bereavement Services intake process where the client is found to be a match for the program.

Hospice Orillia is extremely grateful for the tremendous donation from the Kiwanis Club of Orillia. For more information on the club please visit http://kiwanisorillia.ca. For more information on the Bereavement Services available at Hospice Orillia please visit www.hospiceorillia.ca/bereavement-services

For information on how you can support Hospice Orillia don’t hesitate to get in touch with Amanda Tevelde, Communications, Fundraising and Public Relations Specialist at amanda@hospiceorillia.ca or (705) 325-0505 ext 107.