Community Living BC (CLBC) is recognizing leaders from across B.C. for their innovation and dedication in making sure people with developmental disabilities remain included and connected to their communities during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The recognition is part of CLBC’s annual Widening Our World (WOW) awards. This year’s WOW winners include community and provincial leaders who have given extensive support to people across the province.

“Congratulations to the winners and everyone who was nominated this year,” said Ross Chilton, CEO of Community Living BC. “It is inspiring to see the wealth of innovative ideas, activities and initiatives taking place across our province to make sure that people remain included during this time.

Each winner has gone above and beyond in their efforts to maintain social connections even though we may have to physically be apart. This important work helps improve people’s safety, security and quality of life.”

CLBC has been holding the WOW awards since 2009 to recognize work that helps people feel welcomed, included and respected in their communities.

This year, CLBC encouraged nominations to include those who found unique and innovative solutions to make sure individuals remain connected and included, particularly people who have isolated to stay safe.

All British Columbians have had to find new ways to live our lives during the pandemic but for the people CLBC serves, many who rely on funded services for connection, the impact has been great. In March, the community living sector responded quickly and creatively to deliver services, activities and supports in new ways.

Over 55 inspiring nominations from across the province were received demonstrating people’s ingenuity, kindness and thoughtfulness during this unprecedented pandemic.

A committee of community members, CLBC staff and people served by CLBC evaluated the nominations and selected the following recipients for their vision, hard work and commitment to keeping people connected and safe:

  • Laura Campbell, Program Coordinator, Integra Supports, Victoria
  • Angela Clancy, Executive Director, on behalf of the Family Support Institute, New Westminster
  • Birgit Giesser, Music Therapist, Ridge Meadows Association for Community Living, Maple Ridge
  • Brenda Gillette, CEO, BC CEO Network
  • Vicky Manderson, Lisa McIntosh and Sheral Jones, Communitas Supportive Cares Society, Abbotsford
  • Susan Simmons, Coach, The Great Big Swim, Victoria
  • Dr. Daniele Behn Smith, Aboriginal Health Physician Advisor, Office of the Provincial Health Officer
  • Ali Westlund, Recreation Manager, City of Kelowna

To learn more about each winner and the great work taking place in their communities, please visit www.communitylivingbc.ca/wow.

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