This is a good news story, something we all need these days. For news hounds and social media scrollers these days it would be easy to believe that people are mean and moral compasses are spinning out of control.

Well, here in North Lanark we seem to have a disproportionate percentage of people who want to make a positive difference in the lives of their friends and neighbours. The members of two local organizations — The Men’s Shed and the Almonte Crazy Quilters — are proof of this.

Naismith Men’s Shed

A few months ago, HHNL’s Chair, Jan Watson and Past Chair, Nancy Deschenes were invited to make a virtual presentation to the men of the Naismith Men’s Shed. Started in Australia in 2007, the first Canadian “Shed” was founded in Winnipeg in 2011. It was started because many men had both time on their hands and a tendency to suffer from isolation, loneliness, and depression. This was especially true after they retire as many men tie big parts of their identities to their careers.  

Out of this wonderful meeting came the idea to produce “comfort birds” for HHNL clients and caregivers. One of the members, John Peters, reached out to a few local carvers asking if they could carve some of these. So far, we have given away six and have 35 more waiting for the right hand in which to rest.

How do they work? Just holding one in your pocket, rolling it around in your hand, gives us something on which to focus other than the stressor of the moment.  Perhaps we may use them as an aid to imagining our fears and worries “flying out the window” and leaving us at peace.  As such they are an aid to personal meditation that has long been used to lower our stress levels. The little birds, each one unique, are coated with a preserving finish of oil and wax that makes them safe should a child accidentally find them and suck on them. They can also serve as a memento of lost loved ones. To learn more about Naismith Men’s Shed and the organization’s history, please visit:

Almonte Crazy Quilters

The Almonte Crazy Quilters originated in 1990 under the initiative of Marie Dunn who remained a very active member for more than 30 years until her passing in 2021. There are currently 15 active members, made up of quilters not only from Almonte but also Arnprior, Carleton Place, Ottawa and Perth.

While pursuing many facets of fibre manipulation and modern techniques, The Group is dedicated to the craft of hand quilting even though members now often opt for the quick results and multitude of patterns offered by the long arm quilting machine. Members complete quilts, wall hangings and occasionally clothing for themselves and their families.

The group produces and donates a minimum of 6 quilts (50” x 70”) for clients of Home Hospice North Lanark. More than 30 quilts have been donated since 2017. And that’s not all the group creates. The Ottawa Valley Midwives, Meals on Wheels and Carleton Place Interval House are others who benefit from their talents. If you’d like more information about this group, please contact Barbara Cotterill by email: [email protected] or phone at 613-256-3528.


The response to these lovingly crafted items has been only positive amongst our clients. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts, and the hearts of our clients and their family and caregivers.

Our work involves in large part advocacy and emotional support for our clients and their caregivers. We are always happy to chat with people offering something that brings them comfort or peace. Have an idea? Let us know! You can email [email protected]

If you or someone you love needs support and help with navigating the system, simply email [email protected] or call (613) 406-7020. And of course there’s lots of information at