The individuals that make up the team at The Nightingale Centre have extensive experience in supporting children, youth, and their families through grief, death and dying. Coming from diverse backgrounds in psychology, organizational governance, thanatology and more, each member of The Nightingale Team shares a passion for supporting our community through significant and devastating loss.

Jodi Pereira

Executive Director

Jodi has worked in, and with, Community not for profits for over 30 years.  Jodi was a director at one of the largest Community Hospice in Ontario for 9 years. She was the creator of the HUUG (Help Us Understand Grief) Program, a one to one/group support program for children and families living with illness, grief and death; a program model which has been adopted by other hospices across the province.  Jodi initiated a regional grief collaborative called the Children and Youth Grief Network (CYGN) which became the catalyst for the development of a national collaboration – the Canadian Alliance for Grieving Children and Youth.  

In all of her past and current roles, Jodi has seen the benefit that connection has especially in grief.  In one of her current roles as the Director of Camp Erin Toronto, she is honored to have witnessed the transformative impact that results when children and youth living with the death of a significant person in their life are connected, supported and given the space to talk about their experience.

Jodi has always been a volunteer sharing her time with organizations that have intersected with different stages of her life.  She is currently a volunteer on two boards and also with a number of local sports organizations. 

Jodi is a long-time resident of Georgetown, the town that she and her family call home.  

Claire Barron

Lead Group Facilitator

Claire Barron has been with Nightingale since it opened and now serves as Program Director for our groups. Having spent many years as a teacher and Guidance counsellor, Claire’s passion is leading support groups for children. At Nightingale she has seen first hand the benefit of people coming together with their shared grief and learning that they are not alone. Claire is responsible for developing our highly successful Jr. Facilitator program which allows our group participants to come back as Facilitators to support our new group members who are grieving. To Claire, Nightingale is all about community support and is so grateful to be able to work with so many wonderful young people and talented Facilitators. 

Claire earned her BA and BEd from Middlebury College and her M.Ed from OISE. In addition, she has her Life Coaching credentials and her certificate from the SickKids Children’s Grief and Bereavement Program. 

Beth (Graham) Burrows

Group Facilitator

Barbara Chisholm

Group Facilitator

Barb has been facilitating groups with Nightingale for four years.  As a former documentary filmmaker and partner with Lynx Images, she is well-versed in building bridges of understanding and communication.  Essential to her documentary work was being open to all perspectives and creating an atmosphere in which people felt comfortable to be authentic and to tell their story.  As a facilitator, Barb is excited to help groups of peers develop a shared feeling of trust in which they can speak their emotional truths, listen to one another with empathy and compassion and connect in a warm and supportive way. 

She has an Hons. BA in History from Queen’s University and has completed the SickKids Children’s Grief and Bereavement Program and a 200-hour yoga training.  She is currently studying grief movement with Paul Denniston.  

Sebastian Wasilik

Project Coordinator

Sebastian is a graduate of the Marketing Management diploma program at the University of Guelph, developing communication, leadership, and analytical skills throughout his education. Sebastian founded Exodus Watch Company, an E-Commerce brand that stands out as the pioneer private company to develop a partnership with the Canadian Mental Health Association Waterloo Wellington (CMHA WW). Each watch sold by Exodus contributes $10 to CMHA WW, fostering essential mental health resources within the Wellington community. Sebastian's inspiration for Exodus stems from his personal journey, navigating mental health challenges and accessing available resources. Through his honed skills in brand development and passion for the non-profit sector, Sebastian aspires to contribute significantly to The Nightingale Centre's mission.

Allison de Ruiter

Grow in Grief Counsellor

Ally de Ruiter is the Grow in Grief (GiG) Family Counsellor here at The Nightingale Centre. With over 10 years of experience in grief and bereavement, Ally comes with extensive experience working in homes, schools and communities with children, youth, caregivers, and professionals living, and working with grief. Ally is a certified child life specialist, early childhood educator and holds a degree in children’s studies and advocacy with a master’s in education. Ally also works as a professor at Conestoga College in the Early Childhood Education program. To stay grounded and balanced, Ally enjoys spending time outdoors and with her husband, son, daughter and dog.