The Founders

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The LifeQuilt is a memorial dedicated to the thousands of young women and men between the ages of 14-24, who have been killed or injured on the job. At the unveiling of the LifeQuilt in April 2003, over 60 family members from across the country gathered together in memory of their children. They discussed what they could do and what they still need to help them along their journey of healing. A consistent thread that materialized from this gathering was that all the families at one time or another had been ‘lost’ and confused by the health and safety system, receiving very little support when they were dealing with the loss of their family member, many times their child, tragically injured or killed in their first job.

As a result of families and friends working together and identifying this major gap in our country’s health and safety and social systems, Threads of Life was officially launched on April 14, 2003.

Our founders include families of young workers killed on the job and memorialized on the LifeQuilt:

Shirley Hickman – Mom of Tim Hickman
In 1996, Shirley’s and her family’s lives were forever changed with the tragic workplace death of her son Tim. He was two days shy of his 21st birthday when he was killed during an explosion in a London, Ontario arena. Tim died as a result of his injuries.

Shirley is the Executive Director of Threads of Life.

Paul Kells – Dad of Sean Kells
Sean Kells was 19 when he was killed in a workplace explosion in 1994. His father, Paul Kells, founded the Safe Communities Foundation in response to this tragic workplace death.

Sharon Freeman – Stepmom of Amanda Peat
Amanda Peat and another teenager were tragically crushed during the Take our Kids to Work event at a John Deere Welland Works Plant several years ago.

Founding partners
Ontario Office of the Worker Adviser
Workers Health and Safety Centre (Ontario)
Ontario Federation of Labour
Industrial Accident Prevention Association (Ontario)

In partnership with Canadian quilt artist Laurie Swim, founders and families joined together in a memorial to one hundred youth killed on the job and injured workers.

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