Barbecue brings together individuals supported and staff
Lisa Bailey

Individuals supported by Columbia and Oxford houses, as well as team members who work with them, recently got together in the name of fun and friendship.

The barbecue held on the fair-weather afternoon of Aug. 29 was the first of its kind at Columbia house — and hopefully one of more barbecues or similar events to come, says senior support worker Leslie Fusco.

She spearheaded the event in hopes of enhancing friendships amongst people supported by the programs. They see each other and become acquainted at other functions and “this is a way of connecting people in our organization,” Leslie says.

“Everyone needs relationships and contact with other people,” she says, adding that building social connections, including those amongst peers, is important to the health and well-being of people supported by posAbilities.

It was also an opportunity to gauge how individuals served interact in a large-group setting. Considering the smiles and laughter she saw and heard, Leslie reports that “everybody in our house enjoyed themselves.”

The barbecue attracted approximately 20 people, who socialized while enjoying traditional grilled fare and meandering in and out of Columbia house. Attendees included about eight people served by Columbia and Oxford houses in New Westminster and Port Coquitlam respectively, as well as a family members, staff from the two houses and members of posAbilities management team.

Leslie appreciates the support and interest of all participants, noting she received positive feedback from one director about the level of comfort and contentment demonstrated at Columbia house, which opened late last year.

Leslie notes that the barbecue also gave staff members an opportunity to network and learn more about one another.

With many programs offered over a wide area, posAbilities is an organization “so large that we can build relationships within our own community” and help to ensure optimal use of services through education and support of one another, Leslie says.

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