Ontario Trillium Foundation Media Release July 2022

Virtual Cancer Support Made A Reality With $149,000 OTF Grant


Toronto, ON (July 26, 2022) – In late 2020, GILDA’S TORONTO learned that it had received a $149,000 Resilient Communities Fund grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation to add dedicated personnel to facilitate virtual support programs when COVID–19 prevented cancer patients from safely gathering in person. Today, with the added worries related to COVID–19, Gilda’s Toronto operates exclusively online, connecting with Members virtually to deliver programs that include education, physical activity and support groups from the comfort of their own homes. 

“Congratulations to Gilda’s Club on the work that’s been done with its Resilient Communities Fund grant,” said Jessica Bell, MPP for University-Rosedale. “Your ongoing work supporting and empowering people affected by cancer is critical. Thank you for your commitment and dedication throughout the pandemic and beyond.”

In addition to specialized personnel, technological upgrades were made, and screening tools modified to create customized membership plans.  Thanks to the $149,000 grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation, members will receive specialized support to meet their unique circumstances related to cancer.  

“This investment by the Ontario Trillium Foundation has made it possible for this community of support to thrive online,” said Randi L. Hampson, Chair of the Board of Gilda’s Toronto. “Where those who are immunocompromised can feel safe engaging with their peers.  For some, this virtual community may be the only connection to emotional support, the only outlet for physical exercise and the only place to meet others who can relate to their feelings of isolation, fear and anxiety.”  

“The impact of this grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation grant cannot be underestimated,” said Elizabeth Dalgleish, Executive Director of Gilda’s Toronto. “This funding makes it possible for a dedicated facilitator to support not just the individual group participants but also the mental health professionals leading the group, providing a sense of safety, continuity and technical facilitation.  The Virtual Program Coordinator is a consistent guide and participant in the virtual program environment, creating a sense of community so that no one feels alone.”

About the OTF
– The Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF) mission is to build healthy and vibrant communities across Ontario. As an agency of the Government of Ontario, and one of Canada’s leading granting foundations, last year, OTF invested nearly $209M into 2,042 community projects and partnerships, which included funding for the Government of Ontario’s Community Building Fund. Since 2020, OTF has supported Ontario’s economic recovery by helping non-profit organizations rebuild and recover from the impacts of COVID-19. Visit otf.ca to learn more.

About Us – Gilda’s Toronto exists to help those impacted by cancer get the support they need and to help with their cancer-related stress. Our 600+ programs, including support groups, healthy lifestyle programs, educational workshops, bereavement support, and social events, are provided annually to adults, children and families by licensed mental health professionals and skilled subject experts. Cancer has touched each of us in some way, either personally, as a family member or friend, or as a co-worker. Nobody living with cancer should feel alone, and Gilda’s Toronto is here to make sure that every individual affected by cancer has a safe place they can count on. Please visit gildasclubtoronto,org