June Callwood Circle of Outstanding Volunteer Award

Pictured: L-R, Jane Weiland, Hospice Huntsville Program Coordinator presents certificate to Hospice volunteer John Brenciaglia 

Pictured: L-R, Jane Weiland, Hospice Huntsville Program Coordinator & John Brenciaglia 

Hospice Huntsville is pleased to share that volunteer John Brenciaglia has been awarded the
2022 June Callwood Circle of Outstanding Volunteer Award

John has been volunteering for Hospice Huntsville for 12 years.  He demonstrates kind compassionate support to people he serves.  He supports people over longer periods of time as well as responding to short notice end of life vigil request.  John is attentive to learning about the person’s interests and what is important to them.  He is creative and thoughtful, bringing those elements to shared visits.  John volunteers his time to assist Hospice with fundraising initiatives.  John shares his insights, experiences, and reflections with fellow volunteers, mentoring others.  He is committed to being an excellent volunteer.

Congratulations John!

About the June Callwood Award

The June Callwood Award was established in the fall of 1994 by the Hospice Association of Ontario, now Hospice Palliative Care Ontario, to acknowledge and thank outstanding hospice volunteers throughout Ontario.  The award was named in honour of the late June Callwood, the Award Patron, long-time advocate of hospice, community activist, author and recipient of the Order of Canada and the Order of Ontario.  June was the inaugural recipient and the first official member of the Circle of Outstanding Volunteers Award in 1995.

Through many years of activism for social justice, June’s name became synonymous with integrity and compassion.  June founded over 50 organizations including Casey House Hospice, named in honour of her late son.  June touched the lives of generations of Canadians through her words and her work in the service of those in need.

Volunteers are special people – a view strongly held by Ms. Callwood and expressed by her on many occasions, during interviews on TV and radio, through her warm message of support at HPCO’s annual conferences and through her writing.  Her book, Twelve Weeks in Spring, captured the spirit of hospice and emphasized the importance of the many and varied contributions of a team of volunteers.

Since 1995, 890 volunteers have been inducted into The June Callwood Circle of Outstanding Volunteers.  This year 54 individuals will join their peers in the Circle in recognition of their dedication to bringing compassionate care to individuals and their families across Ontario.  Recipients are nominated by the hospice they serve and inducted by Hospice Palliative Care Ontario.

Volunteers are the heart and soul of the hospice movement.  Volunteers case the vision, raise the funds, sit at the bedside, and console the grieving.  Each year in Ontario, hospice volunteers contribute over 700,000 hours of support to people facing end-of-life and their families.

“You should fit your dream to what should exist and should be possible.”

– June Callwood


Words from June Callwood

“I was raised in a village of a few hundred people, mostly related to one another and all members of one congregation – so we were close knit.  Everyone was poor and the way the village worked was that we had to help one another.  If something bad happened to anyone, it was our collective responsibility to come to the rescue.  All the children were safe because all of the adults watched over us, and all of the children, in turn, had to run errands for any adult who asked.  I grew up thinking that is the way the world works, that we have responsibility for one another, be they kin folk or not.  We are dependent on one another and could not stand alone for very long.

Joseph Conrad said, “We exist only so long as we hang together.”  And that is the way the hospice movement works; people hanging together.  It is a noble sight.  It is an ennobling practice. ”


Previous Hospice Huntsville June Callwood Award Recipients

2021- Isobel Hampton
2020- Angel Benn
2019- Cathy Nystrom
2018- Judy White
2016-Debbie Mowat
2015-Norma Connolly
2014- Elaine Rose
2012- Dr. Deb Harrold
2011- Marge Denis
2010- Chuck Macdougall
2009- Diane Schamehorn
2008- Nina Sempler Ross