Learn more about who we are and what we do here at the Surrey Hospice Society.
To provide social, emotional, and spiritual support for individuals and their loved ones as they face a life-ending experience.
Our team consists of a board of directors, a group of office staff, and numerous volunteers who help make a difference in our community and the lives of many.
We believe that no one should face a life-ending experience alone, and no one should be alone with their grief.
Over the years, many have nurtured and contributed to the growth of the Surrey Hospice Society.
In the mid 1980’s, Dennis Boyd, a highly regarded and well-known psychologist, worked with volunteers to support Surrey residents facing an end-of-life experience. As the number of volunteers grew, Boyd encouraged them to form a society. With the seed for a hospice society firmly planted, Anneliese Lomer, Eileen Schmelzle, and Sharon Myhre traveled to Victoria to visit one of the British Columbia's first hospice societies. With this visit, the birth of the Surrey Hospice Society had truly begun.
In August 1986, Beryl Hamilton facilitated the volunteer group through a process that resulted in an application to the government in Victoria for Society status. The persons who signed this application, and became the first directors of the Surrey Hospice Society, were Anneliese Lomer, Sharon Myhre, Marilyn Hall, Ivy Hubbard, and Diane Sharpe.
These first signing directors then went about recruiting people from religious and community organizations to join them. At about the same time, a group of medical professionals were striving to establish a palliative care program at Surrey Memorial Hospital. These professionals were well aware of the importance of the volunteer component to a community-based integrated hospice palliative care team. Soon these two groups, both concerned with the support of those with suffering life-threatening illnesses and their families, came together to become the Society’s first board of directors.
With official status, the work had just begun. Throughout the 1980’s and the 1990’s, the Society had a working board of directors and much of the action plans were formed around the kitchen tables of the directors. Since then, the Society’s staff has grown to include an Executive Director, Volunteer Coordinator, Grief and Bereavement Counsellors, an Office Administrator and a Grant and Sponsorship Coordinator.
At the Society’s Annual General Meeting in 2000, it was recognized that a new chapter in the Society’s life was beginning. The members of the Society marked the occasion by bestowing Life Member status on the Society’s Founding Members.
As the Society has grown, many new programs have been developed and the number of trained volunteers has increased significantly. More importantly, the number of clients served by the Society has increased steadily as community awareness of the Society’s services has increased. In the year 2013, the Society’s staff and volunteers provided emotional, spiritual, and practical support for 603 people facing the end-of-life, as well as support for their family members and friends. One-to-one and group bereavement support was provided to 404 children, teens, and adults during the same period.
At Surrey Hospice Society, we believe that one of our key roles is to provide well-trained and well-supported companion volunteers for this journey. We invite you to become involved with us as we strive to meet our mission.