FOCUS ON SENIORS: Lending a hand at the hospice

News Apr 02, 2015 by Gary Chalk Brant News

John Campbell and Brenda Cromwell understand how to treat people – and each other. They both led successful careers before meeting at Brantford’s Stedman Community Hospice in 2006.  

Campbell learned about customer service when he was a young man.

“I was hired to help install a production control system at Cockshutt Farm Equipment,” Campbell recalled. “Back in those days we used punch cards – the precursor to computers.”

When Campbell wasn’t working at Cockshutt he played senior hockey.

“Before coming to Brantford I played for a team in Niagara Falls where I was a goalie,” Campbell said. “A team in Simcoe recruited me to play and part of the ‘offer’ was an opportunity to manage a jewellery store in Brantford.”

Campbell had no retail experience but agreed to the offer to manage the store and play hockey in Simcoe. He remembers his first day at the store.

“It was a busy Saturday and I sold four diamond engagement rings. I thought this is pretty good being able to serve people to help them pick out their wedding ring.”

Soon after, Campbell was hired by Moore Corporation in their business forms division. Then, in 1983, he went out on his own and launched a printing forms business called Fastprint.  

Cromwell was born and raised in Brantford and worked as a floral designer at Passmore Flowers in Brantford and at McCormack Flowers in Paris.

“As a florist a great deal of your work is preparing floral arrangements for funerals,” she said. “You have to take your time and be patient with families. You take the necessary time to find out exactly what customers want and provide it.”

Campbell and Cromwell agree that in their professional lives they did a lot of listening.

But by 2006 their lives changed. They had both lost their spouses to cancer and met after signing up to volunteer at the hospice.

“We began to volunteer in the day wellness program at the hospice, helping people contending with a life-limiting disease,” Cromwell said. “There are four women and three men that volunteer. We have been doing this for nine years now.”

The day wellness program provides one-on-one and group support for patients. Together, they may play cards, enjoy music, have a spa treatment, do a craft or enjoy a lunch.

“Often, men may resist coming out at first,” Campbell said. “But we always find some common ground. Almost anyone likes to find something they can share together. I rely on my experience working with customers in business and my own life to be able to communicate with people.”

Cromwell talks about the happiness at the day wellness program.

“The people are all very cheerful. You would be surprised the positive attitudes people can have when they come together.”

Campbell smiles.

“I would wager that each Tuesday when our day wellness patients get together we have more laughter than anywhere else,” he said.  

Initially, Campbell and Cromwell would go their separate ways each Tuesday after the day wellness program concluded. But things were about to change.  

“I noticed that Brenda was signing up to come back in and volunteer on Sundays,” Campbell said. “So I joined her. We continued to volunteer on Sundays for five years, cooking meals for families and assisting feeding patients.”

However, there is more to their story.

“Eventually I got up my nerve and asked Brenda if she would like to join me for dinner,” Campbell said. “One year later we were married.”

Today, John and Brenda Campbell are thrilled about their decision to give back to others in their retirement years.

Almost in unison they say “it gives meaning to life.”

The Campbells are similar to thousands of seniors throughout Brantford and Brant who are using their life and work skills and giving back to help others.  

The Grand River Council on Aging (GRCOA) developed a Master Aging Plan for residents of Brantford-Brant based on the World Health Organization’s age-friendly initiative that includes eight pillars: outdoor spaces and recreation, transportation, housing, social participation, respect and social inclusion, civic participation and employment, communication and information and community support and health services. Contact Grand River Council on Aging at 519-754-0077, ext. 438 or at  www.grcoa.ca.

FOCUS ON SENIORS: Lending a hand at the hospice

Volunteers John and Brenda are using their skills to help others

News Apr 02, 2015 by Gary Chalk Brant News

John Campbell and Brenda Cromwell understand how to treat people – and each other. They both led successful careers before meeting at Brantford’s Stedman Community Hospice in 2006.  

Campbell learned about customer service when he was a young man.

“I was hired to help install a production control system at Cockshutt Farm Equipment,” Campbell recalled. “Back in those days we used punch cards – the precursor to computers.”

When Campbell wasn’t working at Cockshutt he played senior hockey.

“Before coming to Brantford I played for a team in Niagara Falls where I was a goalie,” Campbell said. “A team in Simcoe recruited me to play and part of the ‘offer’ was an opportunity to manage a jewellery store in Brantford.”

Campbell had no retail experience but agreed to the offer to manage the store and play hockey in Simcoe. He remembers his first day at the store.

“It was a busy Saturday and I sold four diamond engagement rings. I thought this is pretty good being able to serve people to help them pick out their wedding ring.”

Soon after, Campbell was hired by Moore Corporation in their business forms division. Then, in 1983, he went out on his own and launched a printing forms business called Fastprint.  

Cromwell was born and raised in Brantford and worked as a floral designer at Passmore Flowers in Brantford and at McCormack Flowers in Paris.

“As a florist a great deal of your work is preparing floral arrangements for funerals,” she said. “You have to take your time and be patient with families. You take the necessary time to find out exactly what customers want and provide it.”

Campbell and Cromwell agree that in their professional lives they did a lot of listening.

But by 2006 their lives changed. They had both lost their spouses to cancer and met after signing up to volunteer at the hospice.

“We began to volunteer in the day wellness program at the hospice, helping people contending with a life-limiting disease,” Cromwell said. “There are four women and three men that volunteer. We have been doing this for nine years now.”

The day wellness program provides one-on-one and group support for patients. Together, they may play cards, enjoy music, have a spa treatment, do a craft or enjoy a lunch.

“Often, men may resist coming out at first,” Campbell said. “But we always find some common ground. Almost anyone likes to find something they can share together. I rely on my experience working with customers in business and my own life to be able to communicate with people.”

Cromwell talks about the happiness at the day wellness program.

“The people are all very cheerful. You would be surprised the positive attitudes people can have when they come together.”

Campbell smiles.

“I would wager that each Tuesday when our day wellness patients get together we have more laughter than anywhere else,” he said.  

Initially, Campbell and Cromwell would go their separate ways each Tuesday after the day wellness program concluded. But things were about to change.  

“I noticed that Brenda was signing up to come back in and volunteer on Sundays,” Campbell said. “So I joined her. We continued to volunteer on Sundays for five years, cooking meals for families and assisting feeding patients.”

However, there is more to their story.

“Eventually I got up my nerve and asked Brenda if she would like to join me for dinner,” Campbell said. “One year later we were married.”

Today, John and Brenda Campbell are thrilled about their decision to give back to others in their retirement years.

Almost in unison they say “it gives meaning to life.”

The Campbells are similar to thousands of seniors throughout Brantford and Brant who are using their life and work skills and giving back to help others.  

The Grand River Council on Aging (GRCOA) developed a Master Aging Plan for residents of Brantford-Brant based on the World Health Organization’s age-friendly initiative that includes eight pillars: outdoor spaces and recreation, transportation, housing, social participation, respect and social inclusion, civic participation and employment, communication and information and community support and health services. Contact Grand River Council on Aging at 519-754-0077, ext. 438 or at  www.grcoa.ca.

FOCUS ON SENIORS: Lending a hand at the hospice

Volunteers John and Brenda are using their skills to help others

News Apr 02, 2015 by Gary Chalk Brant News

John Campbell and Brenda Cromwell understand how to treat people – and each other. They both led successful careers before meeting at Brantford’s Stedman Community Hospice in 2006.  

Campbell learned about customer service when he was a young man.

“I was hired to help install a production control system at Cockshutt Farm Equipment,” Campbell recalled. “Back in those days we used punch cards – the precursor to computers.”

When Campbell wasn’t working at Cockshutt he played senior hockey.

“Before coming to Brantford I played for a team in Niagara Falls where I was a goalie,” Campbell said. “A team in Simcoe recruited me to play and part of the ‘offer’ was an opportunity to manage a jewellery store in Brantford.”

Campbell had no retail experience but agreed to the offer to manage the store and play hockey in Simcoe. He remembers his first day at the store.

“It was a busy Saturday and I sold four diamond engagement rings. I thought this is pretty good being able to serve people to help them pick out their wedding ring.”

Soon after, Campbell was hired by Moore Corporation in their business forms division. Then, in 1983, he went out on his own and launched a printing forms business called Fastprint.  

Cromwell was born and raised in Brantford and worked as a floral designer at Passmore Flowers in Brantford and at McCormack Flowers in Paris.

“As a florist a great deal of your work is preparing floral arrangements for funerals,” she said. “You have to take your time and be patient with families. You take the necessary time to find out exactly what customers want and provide it.”

Campbell and Cromwell agree that in their professional lives they did a lot of listening.

But by 2006 their lives changed. They had both lost their spouses to cancer and met after signing up to volunteer at the hospice.

“We began to volunteer in the day wellness program at the hospice, helping people contending with a life-limiting disease,” Cromwell said. “There are four women and three men that volunteer. We have been doing this for nine years now.”

The day wellness program provides one-on-one and group support for patients. Together, they may play cards, enjoy music, have a spa treatment, do a craft or enjoy a lunch.

“Often, men may resist coming out at first,” Campbell said. “But we always find some common ground. Almost anyone likes to find something they can share together. I rely on my experience working with customers in business and my own life to be able to communicate with people.”

Cromwell talks about the happiness at the day wellness program.

“The people are all very cheerful. You would be surprised the positive attitudes people can have when they come together.”

Campbell smiles.

“I would wager that each Tuesday when our day wellness patients get together we have more laughter than anywhere else,” he said.  

Initially, Campbell and Cromwell would go their separate ways each Tuesday after the day wellness program concluded. But things were about to change.  

“I noticed that Brenda was signing up to come back in and volunteer on Sundays,” Campbell said. “So I joined her. We continued to volunteer on Sundays for five years, cooking meals for families and assisting feeding patients.”

However, there is more to their story.

“Eventually I got up my nerve and asked Brenda if she would like to join me for dinner,” Campbell said. “One year later we were married.”

Today, John and Brenda Campbell are thrilled about their decision to give back to others in their retirement years.

Almost in unison they say “it gives meaning to life.”

The Campbells are similar to thousands of seniors throughout Brantford and Brant who are using their life and work skills and giving back to help others.  

The Grand River Council on Aging (GRCOA) developed a Master Aging Plan for residents of Brantford-Brant based on the World Health Organization’s age-friendly initiative that includes eight pillars: outdoor spaces and recreation, transportation, housing, social participation, respect and social inclusion, civic participation and employment, communication and information and community support and health services. Contact Grand River Council on Aging at 519-754-0077, ext. 438 or at  www.grcoa.ca.