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  • Writer's pictureESSEX FREE PRESS

St. Paul’s recognizes senior support workers with annual ceremony

by Adam Gault

For four years running, St. Paul’s Anglican Church has been honouring the positive contributions made by various groups in the community with its annual Legacy of Heroes presentation.

What began in 2015 as a way to recognize the 35th anniversary of the 1980 Essex explosion, and the emergency services personnel who responded to the disaster on that day, has grown to recognize Community Living Essex County workers and local foster parents, among fellow recipients.

This past Sunday, through the Legacy of Heroes program, a group of people whose good deeds sometimes go unseen by the general public were recognized as St. Paul’s honoured the contributions of the support staff and volunteers of two local senior’s homes, Iler Lodge and Country Village.

“Part of the reason we came to Iler Lodge and Country Village is because a number of our members who had been residents there passed at the beginning of the year,” St. Pauls’ Reverend Chris Brouillard-Coyle explained. “As we were honouring those beloved members, the thought came, what about giving thanks for the people who cared for them.”

As members of the community age and transition through later life stages, it can be frustrating for them, as well as those entrusted with their care. Demonstrating patience and understanding, senior home support staff play an enormous role in making sure those challenging transitions are as comfortable for everyone as possible.

“The workers that work intensely with seniors have that kind of pastoral care; that they care about, and can deal with, some of the frustrations,” Brouillard-Coyle said. “To have that kind of patience, and ability to encourage and engage with people, and allow them to be their best, particularly when they get to a time when it’s really hard to be their best. That’s a real gift.”

As the event continues to grow year-after-year, bringing additional awareness to the often unrecognized heroes of the community, Brouillard-Coyle said the response from the church and the greater community as a whole is an appreciation at the opportunity to show recognition to those featured groups.

“The community loves it, they love being able to honour different people,” Brouillard-Coyle said. “To say ‘thank you’ to people who are doing a wonderful job, and give them an opportunity to move that forward to continue to engage with the (senior home) residents.”


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