The Foothills Country Hospice is among 25 in the province to receive a grant from the Alberta government this week.

Executive Director Dawn Elliott says it's going to make a big difference in helping them to expand their services.

"We're very grateful to be the recipient of this Palliative and End Of Life Care grant. Our plan is to use these funds to develop community programming tailored to the needs of Foothills County and to give back to those who have supported us," she says. "These funds expand the capacity of Foothills Country Hospice to develop community based palliative care supports to meet the needs of caregivers, volunteers and community members."

Elliott says expanding the programs will mean they'll be able to provide grief support to those who have cared for family or friends who did not pass away at the hospice since some people choose to die at home.

"The programs will include our existing bereavement support such as Grief Group and individual counselling, No One Dies Alone, which is a volunteer-run program which provides companionship at the end of life and NAVCare a resource navigation for anyone who is experiencing a decrease in quality of life.

She says in time they'll be reaching out for sustainability grants to make sure these outreach services can continue.

The hospice has never had to put out a call for volunteers, as Elliott says they've always stepped forward in the past.

They have about 70, including the four-legged kind.

Highwood MLA RJ Sigurdson is very supportive of the hospice.

"The work they do there is absolutely incredible. You only have to run into anybody who has utilized the hospice and they can tell you the incredible work that they do there and to see them get a grant to be able to continue the work and to be able to expand, I think this is a big benefit for our community," Sigurdson says.

"There are approximately 400 deaths in the region annually and it is our goal to support those dying and their loved ones in receiving the before, during and after care that is essential to creating a healthy community," Elliott says.

The hospice is looking forward to having it's Gala back again along with the Rally For Hospice and the Hike for Hospice.