Celebrating can-do spirit at CLH

Residents in their Canada Day shirts and decorations on the front porch

Supported adults have been #togetherathome since mid-March.

Support, Include, Empower: CLH has been part of the north Simcoe community for 60 years. It was formed because members of this community recognized individuals with developmental disabilities deserved opportunities to learn and to participate.

This spirit and commitment continue to inform the work of CLH Developmental Support Services, which supports more than 200 adults and youths, and 1,800 children and families.

Reflecting on the first months of the pandemic and its impact on individuals supported by CLH, we’re inspired by their “can-do” spirit and positive attitude. Supported adults have been #togetherathome since mid-March as part of the public health-mandated measures to prevent COVID-19. The virus’s impact on those with compromised health is well-known; the effect on those with developmental disabilities is equally profound.

Only recently have some orders been lifted to allow for scenic drives and walks around the block. Family members have been patient and supportive, a credit to their commitment to keep their loved ones well.

Daily routines changed dramatically and, in response, the CLH program team launched a robust, dynamic virtual program with interactive, hands-on activities to keep everyone engaged while at home. Day program staff were redeployed to homes to become part of the team there; houses were equipped with technology to connect and participate.

Throughout, those we support are open to new ideas and new ways to undertake favourite activities, including: Connect Café and Friday Dance Parties; guided meditation; drama workshops; math and computer skills classes; and house-to-house challenges for window decorating, movie trailer and butter tart bragging rights.

CLH’s direct support professionals have served their roles with commitment and heart. CLH Foundation has provided enriched support by securing equipment donations, delivering goodies and prizes, and underwriting programs. The extended community has been wonderfully supportive, donating personal protective equipment and contributing to initiatives that enrich the lives of those supported by CLH.

CLH Developmental Support Services and CLH Foundation are based in Midland. 

Sue-Ellen Boyes serves as the Director of Revenue Development.

This article was published in Simcoe.com on July 15, 2020:  https://www.simcoe.com/opinion-story/10072180-celebrating-can-do-spirit-at-clh-developmental-support-services/

Residents sitting around a table eating Tim Horton donuts