Robyn Appleton was a member of People First in Mission before moving out to the island.

She has been living in Sooke, on Vancouver Island, for about five years now and misses

the activities she participated in when she was in People First.

To this end she has decided to set up a Self Advocacy group in Sooke.


The goal of this meeting is for people to meet each other, discuss what the self advocacy group will look like,

and decide on a name and logo for the group.
Everyone welcome to attend this meeting and bring their ideas.

For more information including the address please email


The next Sooke Self Advocacy meeting will be on Wednesday April 26 at 6:30 pm.

Erin has generously offered to have the meeting at her home. The address is 2492 West View Terrace in Sunriver.

We will be having high tea so everyone needs to bring $5 cash to cover the cost.
We will be discussing natural beauty products so if you have some that you use and like maybe bring a sample.
Astrid will also be bringing in some ideas.
If you need a ride or have any questions, please contact Astrid at 250-634-3020.
Thanks Erin and Astrid
Here further to the story March 21st 2017
         WOW Award recognizes Sooke inclusion champion
  • Sooke, March 21, 2017 – Astrid Koenig (above left), the executive director of Community Living BC service provider Building Bridges Community Support, is being recognized today with a Widening Our World (WOW) award for her 40 years of work to create more accessible and inclusive communities for people with diverse abilities.

    In her nomination, self advocate Robyn Appleton (above right) acknowledges Astrid for supporting her to organize the group, Sooke Self Advocacy, where people come together to talk about issues, learn about their rights, fund raise, do community activities and help to educate others about inclusion. Astrid is also being recognized for her dedication to inclusion of people with diverse abilities of all ages, and for making sure individuals and families are connected to community resources that meet their needs.

    CLBC received 40 nominations for its eighth annual awards; the winners were chosen by an evaluation committee of community members, CLBC staff and individuals served by CLBC. In March, three other WOW Awards will be presented to deserving recipients:

    • Gibsons – Brian Smith, CEO and founder of Persephone Brewing Company, for his grassroots efforts to build inclusion and create jobs for the people CLBC serves.
    • Kamloops – Ronnie Bouvier for creating first time employment for young adults while raising public awareness of the contributions they can make to their communities.
    • Smithers – Chris Morsund, Chatters Pizzeria and Bistro, for his 15 year commitment to hiring inclusively and setting an example for other small businesses to follow.

    Since 2009, CLBC has presented WOW awards to recognize British Columbians who are helping to build community inclusion for the people CLBC serves. The 2016 nomination process invited British Columbians to nominate someone they think is creating opportunities for people with developmental disabilities to lead full lives, have rich relationships, choices in how they live and employment opportunities.

    Nominations of inclusion champions were submitted throughout Community Living Month in October 2016. This year’s awards requested each nomination include a photo reflecting the nominee’s inclusion efforts. To see the photos submitted, or for more information about the WOW Awards visit


    Seonag Macrae, CLBC CEO

    “Congratulations to Astrid Koenig on receiving a 2016 WOW award, and for her clear commitment to helping create welcoming communities that provide many opportunities for everyone. Inclusion is a collaborative effort and I thank her and all our other winners and nominees for the work they do each and every day to help the people CLBC serves be recognized for their abilities, their strengths and their contributions.” 

    Minister of Social Development and Social Innovation Michelle Stilwell  

    “Astrid’s vision of an inclusive community is the kind of British Columbia that our government continues to work towards: diverse and vibrant communities in which everyone is valued for their own unique abilities. I want to not only congratulate Astrid on this award, but also thank her for dedicating 40 years to working towards a better British Columbia.” 

    Robyn Appleton, Self Advocate

    “Astrid lives by what she believes in and celebrates the successes of the people she works with. Our self advocacy group, Sooke Self Advocacy, gets us out in the community together where we feel like we are part of something special and have opportunities to try new things. It also helps the community see how people with diverse abilities can be active in, and contribute to, the community.”

    Astrid Koenig, Executive Director, Building Bridges Community Support, WOW Award Winner

    “Being a part of a community is very important to me. It gives me a sense of belonging, friendships, adventures and supports me to learn many new skills. Over the past 40 years, I have shared this sense of community with many people with diverse abilities. I have learned so much from everyone who has come into my life and truly believe our society, as a whole, can benefit by celebrating diversity rather than just tolerating it. One of my favourite quotes is from Michael Pritchard: ‘One of the great things any community can do is not teach tolerance, but live tolerance; not talk respect, but live life inclusively’.

  • Astrid Koenig – Sooke CLBC (WOW AWARD WINNER)

    Astrid-WEB“Astrid has helped with the development of a self advocacy group in Sooke, working alongside Robyn. The group focuses on providing a safe place to talk about issues, bring people together to learn about their rights and how to speak up for them when they are not being met, and educate the community about self advocacy and how to be good allies.

    She is also a strong advocate for inclusion in the schools for children with diverse abilities. She ensures the children are receiving the support they need in the classrooms and are being treated fairly and equally to the other children.

    She has an extensive understanding and knowledge of the resources available in the community. She listens to individual’s and families’ needs, and works to effectively meet them. If she is not able to meet their needs herself, she easily refers them to someone who can. In this way she is making the community more accessible to those who might otherwise feel overwhelmed or not know how to access the supports available to them.” – Robyn Appleton, Nominator

  • Pam Hollands – Sooke

    Photo_Pam Hollands_Sooke - WEB“She is an outstanding advocate for people and families in the community who have diverse abilities. She recognizes gaps in services in the community and works to fill them. Building Bridges Community Support was started by her and her co-founder Astrid, in 2011, to provide home support for two individuals, who at the time, had nowhere else to go. In the course of a week, they rented a house, wrote the contracts, and found staff to provide the 24 hr support the individuals needed.

    Since then, their services have evolved to providing community inclusion and life skills development for adults with diverse abilities, and early intervention for children with autism. Pam manages the adults services and works hard at collaborating with other community resources to make sure everyone receives the support they need. The community is more educated about, and familiar with, their community members with diverse abilities, and the people with diverse abilities who know Pam, feel more included and contribute more to their communities.” – Robyn Appleton, Nominator


Here is Sooke Self Advocacy Group archive  Minutes from  pass meetings

 Minutes of January 23 2017  SA Minutes

Meeting Notes 2016-04-19



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