CLBC board members Diane Friedman and Dave Everett recently spent the day in Nanaimo to connect with self advocates, community members, service providers and CLBC staff to learn more about the community and the services CLBC funds.
Their tour began at the Nanaimo Association for Community Living (NACL) where they met with people in NACL’s Actions community inclusion and Employment WORKS programs, who were happy to share their interests, experiences and goals. Diane and Dave also had a chance to try out NACL’s Snoezelen Room, a controlled multisensory environment used for therapy. The tour concluded with a meeting with Graham Morry, NACL Executive Director, who talked about their current focus on affordable housing and social enterprise.
“We were impressed with NACL’s programs and the different ways they are working to connect people to their community,” said Diane. “It was also exciting to hear about their partnerships that will assist more people to gain employment and to live in housing that is affordable, inclusive and allows them to live as independently as possible.”
Clay Tree Society (CTS) was the next stop. Glenys Padmore, Executive Director of CTS, introduced Diane and Dave to seven programs, each of which is a unique environment tailored to fit the needs of the individuals who participate. Diane and Dave also enjoyed a presentation from Glenys about the research she conducted to inform the development of the new vision for the organization.
“The passion and dedication Glenys and her staff have for their work and to the people they support is clear to see,” said Dave. “It’s great to see the positive impact the changes they are making are having on people’s quality of life. We are excited to hear more about their progress as their organization continues to evolve.”
After lunch, Diane and Dave joined Self Advocates of Nanaimo for their first Community Living Month Open House, held at the downtown library. About 140 people attended the event, including Nanaimo Mayor Bill McKay, who talked about his commitment to inclusion. Attendees also had a chance to learn about different resources and enjoy refreshments.
The Board members finished off the tour by meeting with other Nanaimo area service providers to hear directly from them about where they think the opportunities and challenges lie in the work they do with CLBC.