Hospice of Waterloo Region announced today that it has achieved a Positive Space designation. A Positive Space refers to an organization that is open and welcoming, equitable and accessible, respecting the dignity of individual regardless of their gender identity, gender expression, and sexual preference of all clients, employees, and other stakeholders.
Since 2016 Hospice of Waterloo Region has worked closely with Aging with Pride, SPECTRUM – Waterloo Region’s Rainbow Community Space, and other community members in supporting the end of life journey of those whose experiences can be challenged because of who they are as people.
“In our mission to support the development of a compassionate caring community, we are committed to be a space where human rights are respected. Through on-going education and review of our policies and practices, Hospice has created an environment that recognizes the dignity and worth of each person. We are an ally of the Rainbow Community. Two-Spirited, Intersexed, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, Queer or Questions people (2SILGBTQ+) and their families, friends, and allies are welcomed and supported by all staff and volunteers in our programs and services” said Judy Nairn, Executive Director, Hospice of Waterloo Region.
In the past several years, 230 volunteers, all board members, and all staff have completed “Positive Space” Awareness training. All Hospice policies and processes were reviewed and updated to reflect and include sexual and gender identity protection against discrimination and harassment. And, in partnership with SPECTRUM, Aging With Pride, and community partners, a Positive Space Statement has been created. The statement acknowledges Hospice’s belief that diversity and inclusion, as expressed within a Positive Space, are essential in addressing the holistic needs of our community in the work of supporting all people at end of life.
As a result of achieving the Positive Space designation, Hospice of Waterloo Region will be displaying the Rainbow Triangle on their website and in their physical spaces to indicate to everyone that it is safe to access services.
Hospice of Waterloo Region is a charitable organization celebrating its 28th year of service providing Comfort, Care and Support at no charge to those affected by a life-threatening illness. The vision of Hospice of Waterloo Region is for a community where no one experiences an end of life journey alone. Our services are provided by professional staff and specially trained volunteers in home, hospital, long term care facilities and soon, at the new Gies Family Centre. In 2019 more than 1,850 individuals were served.