Neil Dunsmore is first recipient of The Here4Hope’s new Power of One Award

WELLINGTON COUNTY – Neil Dunsmore has received the first ever Power of One Award offered by Here4Hope, Wellington County’s life promotion and suicide prevention project.

This annual award recognizes an individual in Wellington County whose actions have made a significant contribution to promoting life and preventing suicide.

In the fall of 2020,  Dunsmore, a Centre Wellington councillor,  embarked on Steps to Stop the Silence, a 500km walk from Elora to Ottawa.

Dunsmore made the walk to send a message to everyone to not stay silent about mental illness and suicide.

Proceeds from the walk supported the Cody Sheppard Project, an Elora-based project working to end the silence and stigma surrounding mental illness.

“I am honoured to be the first recipient of the Power of One award from Here4Hope,” Dunsmore said.

“I didn’t realize how much strength I took from others in my life.

“It made me realize how important we are to each other and solidified why we should reach out often. We all need to be the hope others can harvest.”

Everyone has a role to play in preventing suicide and the goal of Here4Hope is to engage as many individuals and organizations as possible in this important work.

“Here4Hope, Wellington’s life promotion, suicide prevention project, takes a whole community approach to this work,” said Cecilia Marie Roberts, project lead with Here4Hope.

“This means that service providers, organizations, and individuals all have a role to play.

“Neil’s walk exemplifies the power of one. The difference and impact one person can make in creating awareness, connection, and hope.”

Going forward, recipients of this award will demonstrate the same qualities that Dunsmore exemplified as he inspired the community with each step:

– commitment: a demonstrated commitment to making an impact in promoting life and preventing suicide in Wellington County;

– leadership – providing leadership or critical support to an initiative that supports the work of the Here4hope project; and

– compassion: demonstrates compassion for those impacted by suicide;

Nominations for this annual award will be accepted from members of the Wellington community.

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The award will be presented each year on World Suicide Prevention Day on Sept. 10.