Youth supports Sea to Sky Community Hospice | Squamish Chief

Youth supports Sea to Sky Community Hospice

Squamish-based hospice celebrates its first anniversary in November

Fifteen-year-old Ryder Gray has a simple reason for working to give to the patients and their families at the Whistler Blackcomb Foundation Sea-to-Sky Community Hospice.

"To help people," he says.

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Gray was part of the National Youth Advisory Committee from September to June and at the end of his year, he got the opportunity to apply for a $1,500 grant through TakingITGlobal. He decided he wanted to help the hospice.

He and his mom Amanda met with the hospice society members in mid-August to find out what the patients most needed.

Ryder Gray (right).
Amanda and Ryder Gray. - Amanda Gray

Gray and his mom are currently in the process of purchasing four planters with soil, succulents, and gardening tools for the facility.

They will also be buying an iPad and case as well as a Bluetooth speaker. Depending on what funds are left, they are looking at purchasing more books, too, for the hospice library.

Sea to Sky Hospice Society's Leslie de Bie has been working with Gray on the project.

She says the flower planters will go in the new garden on the east side of the hospice, outside the meeting room where there is also a stunning view of the Stawamus Chief.

"There is really beautiful lavender and roses and all kinds of variety of things. The idea is to have a lovely space outside for people to have serene moments when they are going through what they go through at the hospice," de Bie said. "[The planters will help] to create more of that really serene, peaceful space for people to enjoy outside."

(Squamish Hospice Society has officially changed its name to Sea to Sky Hospice Society to reflect that the facility is for the entire corridor.)

The hospice will be celebrating its first anniversary in November.

"The hospice has four beds and they have been pretty much full since they opened in November," de Bie said.

The next plan for the garden is to build a gazebo and children's play area.

Last year, the Squamish-Lillooet Regional District contributed $60,000 from a rural grant for the garden and contributed $10,000 for the gazebo.

Leslie de Bie
A piece of art work at the hospice. - Courtesy Leslie de Bie

The iPad Gray is purchasing will help share the hospice's considerable local art collection that has been amassed by the hospice's art committee.

"There started to be so much of it and some patients have different tastes for what they want on the walls when they are going through, what they are," de Bie said. The committee made a cart to take into the rooms so patients could pick their favourite pieces for their walls.

"But then we thought if we have an iPad, we can create an online catalogue of all the artwork with the artists' statements, artists' bios and then images of the pieces and that catalog would be available online for people to be able to view on the new hospice website," she added.

Gray said he will be getting the iPad and accessories this week. The planters weren't available locally, so had to be ordered in. They will be dropped off with the supplies as soon as they arrive.

For more on the hospice and its programs, go here.

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