When COVID hit and Brent’s active week was greatly sidelined, innovative thinking from his family and team helped him move away from what was not possible to what was now possible. The thinking and planning were based on the same strategies as before COVID, just shifted into the new reality. With assistance, Brent started to pay attention to a number of elderly neighbours who were isolated and likely a bit lonely during the lockdown and after. He began to write and send them inspiring notes and cards that he dropped off in their mailbox on a regular basis. They began to look forward to his drop offs and when restrictions loosened a bit he began to enjoy an even-deeper sense of belonging in his neighoburhood. Becoming a caring neighbour who contributed to the well-being of others provide him with a meaningful role, growing relationships and a stronger sense of belonging.
Things are different right now – we are operating in a “new” normal. And while some things have changed, some things have remained the same. One of those consistent staples: people need relationships to be well and thrive in life. Although we need to rethink how we go about our day to day – there are lots of ways we can still plan and take next steps towards ensuring people are exploring and discovering opportunities for welcome, engagement and relationship that exist, today, in our communities!
The thinking and planning behind Brent’s story are the kinds of skills and mindset that are taught and learned in our workshop, Building a Context for Relationship. This is a workshop that we normally offer face-to-face, in our office or a community space. It is one of our favourite events, as it offers effective and practical ideas and generates conversation that can really make a difference in the relationship landscape of people’s lives.
We are excited to pivot this learning opportunity to an online format and believe that especially in these times people need to see how to move forward in small, achievable and impactful ways. There is much that even busy people can do to ensure that people have purpose, a sense of identity, ability to make contributions to family and neighbourhood, and remain firmly anchored in their communities in ways that matter.
Come as a family member who wants to know more. Come as a supporter who wants new and powerful ideas during these times, Consider even attending this event “with” a small group of family members, supporters and allies who sign up and remain in a “group” throughout the workshop. We will look at what it takes to bring about the two elements that will make the most significant difference in peoples’ lives: valued roles and relationship. You will hear stories to stretch your imagination, learn a basic framework that you can begin to use, and have time for brain-storming, and working through ideas.