Feeling welcome and included during COVID

Being involved in the pilot of CLBC’s new L.I.F.E.-based service has helped Denise Dai connect with new people and experiences during the pandemic.

by Denise Dai (Coquitlam)

Denise has been piloting the new L.I.F.E.-based service designed by individuals, families, CLBC staff and service providers. The L.I.F.E.-based service will be a new CLBC community inclusion service option that creates personalized supports related to Learning, Inclusion, Friendship and Employment. The L.I.F.E.-based service aims to make a difference in an individual’s life by increasing confidence and growing a network of support around them. Learn more about the role of this new service, and what was learned during the recent L.I.F.E.-based service pilot, by visiting the “Provincial Projects” section of the CLBC website.

At the start of the pandemic, staying connected was hard. I felt a little bit confused because I could not go out like I used to. I needed to learn new ways to work toward my goals and stay connected. My L.I.F.E. Guide, Julian, taught me how to join Zoom video calls. He also showed me online platforms like CoMakeDo.ca and Kudoz.ca.

On these video calls I made new friends and learned new things. I am proud of the things I learned on these video calls, and I feel awesome that I made new friends even during COVID.

One video call that I join is called Kudoz Coaches Corner. Here I am learning breathing techniques and mindfulness. This helps me to wake up, stay happy and have a healthy mind.

My favorite online CoMakeDo experience is kickboxing. I really enjoy this because it’s good exercise and I like the movements. I would recommend this experience to anybody who wants to have fun while working out.

After having fun at many CoMakeDo experiences, I decided I wanted to lead my own experience. I told Julian that I would like to teach people how to create and decorate a box. Julian helped me practice how to lead this session. Many people came to my experience, and I felt awesome and proud of myself.

My L.I.F.E. Guide also taught me how to create and send Zoom links to my new friends that I met through CoMakeDo experiences. This helped me to hang out with friends on my own and without my L.I.F.E. Guide’s help.

The L.I.F.E.-based service has helped me learn a lot of stuff and meet a lot of people, even during COVID. When the pandemic is over I would like to go outside to have a party with my new friends where we can play games and play cards. We could have dinner together and I will cook with the new skills I have learned at school being a student in the Vancouver Community College food service program. When COVID is done, my L.I.F.E. Guide will help me get a job at a Chinese food restaurant.

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