BeCommunity Newsletter
Dec 2020
Annually, we collect formal feedback from the individuals we provide services to, their families and advocates, and other professional partners. We use the input received to make positive changes to the way we do things at BeConnected.

Thank you to everyone who participated in this year's survey!
Award for Excellence
We were proud to receive The Federation of Community Social Services of BC’s Award for Excellence 2020 earlier this month. 

“Over the past year, you have all stepped up in profound and significant ways and you continue to do so. With each day that goes by, we are more and more impressed and thankful for your ingenuity, creativity, and flexibility – for doing whatever is needed to support your clients while still recognizing their individual humanity. And we thank you.” 

BeConnected is proud to stand among the other service provider recipients of this award. Thank you to the Federation of Community Social Services of BC.
In Memorium
Phil Mattingsley
March 31 1964 - November 8 2020

It is with heavy hearts that we announce the passing of Phil Mattingsley who resided at Forrester House. He will be missed by his housemates Helen, Edmund, Christie and Claire along with the many dedicated staff from Forrester and those who have worked with him in the past. Our thoughts and condolences go out to you all.

Phil will be remembered for his humor, questionable table manners and ability to express himself with passion.
Phil's Memorial Corner
Set up by Residents and Staff at Forrester House
Recent Events
Orange Shirt Day
On September 30th BeConnected celebrated Orange Shirt Day to honour the survivors of residential schools, to take a moment to remember the children who never returned home, to observe the residential school experience and its impact both past and present, and to commit to the ongoing process of reconciliation.
Halloween Door Decorating Contest

Since we could not get together for our annual Halloween party, we held a door decorating contest for all programs instead!

Great job everyone getting into the Halloween spirit!
The Heights
Forrester House
Carey House
Hybury House
Prairie House
Head Office
Halloween Candy Shoot
Together with his Home Share Provider, Tyler created a Minion themed Candy Shoot to deliver Halloween candy to Trick or Treaters!
Breathing Wellness into Supportive Relationships
BeConnected, as part of the South Island Education Committee, hosted the third installment of Breathing Wellness into Supportive Relationships with Dr. Don Castaldi over Zoom. More than 20 BeConnected employees and contractors attended for a morning of wellness and self-reflection.
Upcoming Events
One thing BeConnected is known for is our passion for celebration, and in particular we look forward to ushering in the holiday season each year with a number of events and festivities.

Unfortunately given the concerns around COVID-19, we are not able to host our usual celebrations, from November’s Annual Personnel Appreciation Gala, to December’s Annual Family and Friends Luncheon and Annual Christmas Eve Skate. We plan to be back in 2021 with lots of celebrating to catch up on, and in the meantime we hope you will join us for this year’s events and activities, virtually.

We wish you and yours a safe and happy holiday season.
Holiday Sing-a-long
in place of our Annual Family and Friends Holiday Luncheon, we are teaming up with Shelley Vaags for a Holiday Sing-a-long on Saturday December 12th from 11am-12pm via Zoom. Please

Meeting ID: 927 1437 2547
Passcode: 300318
Family Council Nog and Cheer
Each December, BeConnected hosts a gathering for families at Head Office, where we review the year that is coming to an end and talk about our plans for the coming year. This gathering has affectionately been named our annual
Nog & Cheer meeting. 

Unfortunately but not surprisingly, we will not be hosting an in-person Nog & Cheer event this year, but we would like to offer families the opportunity to meet virtually instead! 

BeConnected's Nog and Cheer will be held in the new year. Stay tuned for more information!

Socks Campaign
A few years ago, a committee was formed to think about who the BeConnected community could help during the Christmas Season. As there is no shortage of those in need, the Spirit of Community & Kindness (SOCKs) Committee decided to help a group of people who we see a lot of, but often overlook: The men, women, and youth living on the streets of our city.

Due to COVID-19 the Rock Bay Landing Homeless Shelter is unable to accept clothing donations at this time. This year BeConnected will be collecting hygiene items (e.g. razors, nail files, shampoo, soaps, lip balm, lotion), snacks that are sealed in original packaging (e.g. chocolate bars, granola bars, gum), bus tickets, and gift cards in small amounts (e.g. Tim Hortons).

BeConnected will be accepting donations at all program and administrative locations until December 15th.
COVID-19 Update
It has been a while since we have sent out a COVID-19 update to BeConnected stakeholders but think it is timely with the number of cases on the rise, and enhanced restrictions being placed upon us for everyone’s safety.
Recent Updates

Recent updates to BeConnected’s planning include:
  • Personnel and essential visitors are required to wear masks at all BeConnected program and administrative locations. 
  • All staff have been required to update their training on BeConnected’s COVID-19 Exposure Control and Continuity Plan.
  • We have assembled BeConnected’s in-house Outbreak Response Team (BORT), a team trained specifically in outbreak management which will be activated if any of BeConnected’s residential homes experiences a COVID-19 outbreak. 
  • We are collecting and documenting baseline information for all residents (Oxygen Saturation Rates, Pulse, Blood Pressure etc.) so we can more effectively monitor their health condition in the event of illness.

Other actions we are taking to stop the spread of the virus include:
  • All program locations remain closed to visitors other than essential visitors. 
  • All staff and visitors are temperature checked and health screened prior to entry into BeConnected program and administrative locations.
  • We ask people who may be unwell to stay home until they have confirmed that they do not have the virus.
  • We practice physical distancing as much as possible.
  • We are regularly reviewing expert information and updating our COVID-19 Exposure Control and Continuity Plan.
  • We have adequate stores of PPE and outbreak kits at the ready.
We recognize that many individuals and families are experiencing significant challenges as the pandemic continues. We are making every effort to support the individuals we serve to stay connected with family, friends, and their community as public health orders and recommendations permit.

We are also making efforts to replace in-person meetings and celebrations, such as our self advocacy meetings, art therapy, and BeConnected’s Annual Family and Friends Holiday Luncheon, with online formats in the interest of maintaining our connections with each other, and a little bit of routine during this unprecedented time.

We will be remaining vigilant in following the guidelines and orders from the provincial health officer in coming weeks and months, while at the same time feeling hopeful that recent news about the development of vaccines come to fruition sooner rather than later. If you have any questions or concerns please feel free to contact me or any of BeConnected’s coordinators. And in the words of Bonnie Henry: Be kind, Be calm and be safe.
Home Share Information
Due to the recent surge in cases, CLBC has asked us to share their COVID-19 Quick Reference Guide for Home Share Providers.

Agency Update
Strategic Plan
In September, BeConnected held its strategic dreaming exercise, helping us set our vision for the next three years.

Thank you to everyone who provided input.

The final 2021-2023 Strategic Plan will be finalized in the new year.
Guidelines for Practice
BeConnected Support Services is guided by our Vision & Mission, Purpose, Values & Beliefs, and Professional Code of Ethics. You can find more information in our Guidelines for Practice document.