Meredith has twenty years of experience in the non-profit sector in the UK and Canada. After earning her MA in International Development, she worked in the area of global justice, playing a key role in making Fairtrade mainstream in the UK. On returning to her hometown of Toronto, Meredith led an environmental organization called EcoSpark, doubling its size and impact during her five years as Executive Director. She then became Executive Director of A-Way Express, an employment social enterprise specializing in mental health. During the last five years, she has modernized the organization and introduced an array of programs to support health and employment transition for its clients.
Meredith comes to BFO Toronto with her whole heart invested in its importance. Meredith lost her daughter Mackenzie at birth in 2016 and believes that BFO Toronto is integral to the Toronto community; through coming together we can help find reprieve within grief and remember love within loss.
Noah Zavitz, SSWProgram and Volunteer Coordinator
Noah Zavitz is a settler queer and nonbinary transgender social service worker with a background in frontline addiction care, harm reduction, and substance use education, as well as mental health advocacy for the 2SLGBTQI community and transgender inclusivity training for social service and healthcare providers.
Noah comes to Bereaved Families of Toronto with the lived experience of being a bereaved teen, having lost their father Geoff to suicide in 2004. Having come from drug use and recovery communities, they have also lost a number of friends to the opioid crisis. In addition to program development and coordination, Noah works one on one with suicide and overdose/poisoning survivors, and is also the lead trainer for new bereavement support facilitators.
Noah strongly believes in peer support models and community resiliency, and tries as much as possible to work from decolonial frameworks that honour the Indigenous peoples of Toronto.
Ellen Chang, MSW, RSWYouth Program Coordinator
Ellen joined BFO-Toronto in 2008 after the sudden death of her mother at the age of 22. Ellen participated in the young adult group at BFO-Toronto and found it incredibly supportive because she was finally able to be in a community that “got it” and it made her feel less alone in her grief journey. As a way to honor her mother’s legacy, Ellen became a volunteer as a group facilitator in 2009. Since then, Ellen has had various roles at BFO-Toronto. In 2014, Ellen was hired as the Youth Program Coordinator where she developed and facilitates the youth bereavement group for ages 13 to 19. Ellen also co-developed a youth bereavement training for volunteers.
Ellen holds a Master of Social Work from Wilfrid Laurier University and has extensive experience working with youth in various settings. In addition to her work at BFO-Toronto, Ellen works full-time as an Addictions Therapist with youth and their families and has a part-time private practice.