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Clarington opens Ontario’s first Hope’s Cradle

The Bowmanville fire station in Clarington, Ontario now features the region’s first Hope’s Cradle, an infant safe surrender site. Hope’s Cradle is a collaborative initiative by Gems for Gems to support mothers in need and to save infants from unsafe abandonment. This is the fourth cradle in the ten provinces of Canada with two earlier ones in Alberta and one in Manitoba.

Clarington officials marked the official opening of Hope’s Cradle, a safe surrender site for newborns, now located at the Bowmanville Fire Station. The new site was recently inaugurated by Clarington Fire Chief Dave Speed, Jordan Guildford, founder and CEO of Gems for Gems, Lynn Jeffs, Gems for Gems ambassador, Randy Cowan, deputy fire chief, Coun. Sami Elhajjeh, Mayor Adrian Foster, and Brad Lamppost, deputy fire chief. This is Ontario’s first infant safe surrender site, now open at Fire Station 1 in Bowmanville, providing a safe, anonymous surrender site for newborns.

The idea to have Hope’s Cradle in Ontario was first brought to the council by resident Lynn Jeffs, an ambassador for Gems for Gems. Jeff’s idea was supported by Randy Cowan, Clarington’s deputy fire chief, who made arrangements for the site within the previously planned renovations to the fire station.

The cradle is located near the front doors of the station and offers a small, heated compartment for babies to be placed in. Parents can also find information packets detailing resources and support services. Once the door of the cradle is opened and an infant is placed inside, the fire station team is automatically informed of the baby’s arrival. The EMS team then assesses and takes the baby to the hospital, where the infant is transferred to the care and supervision of the Children’s Aid Society.

Gems for Gems is a charitable organization that created the Hope’s Cradle program. The organization seeks to honour and support victims of domestic abuse.