Collaborating for Stronger Community

Published: April 25, 2023

From the moment Special Olympics BC approached Leilan Wong, PRIYD’s Program Coordinator, about hosting an event together, we were excited.

PRIYD is designed for children and youth with support needs ages 7-19. The program cultivates independence through 1-on-1 and group work. Integration Support Workers (ISWs) walk alongside young people as they set and work toward client-led goals such as using public transit, participating in social activities, and practicing money skills. 

Special Olympic BC’s core beliefs include accessibility, staying active, and being involved in the community, meaning that there’s a natural overlap in what we do. And, even more importantly, our organizations have the same client philosophy: we are client-centered and strengths-based.

This shared philosophy makes this partnership a complimentary one, and we’re excited to grow it. Our first collaboration came to life as a Try-It Event that we co-hosted on March 18, 2023. 

It was the most successful client event PRIYD has ever hosted, showing just what’s possible when like-minded organizations team up for the community. Brianna, PRIYD’s Program Manager, reflects, “The way that SOBC staff and volunteers encouraged and celebrated our clients while meeting them at their level was so evident throughout the event.”

Our goal was to provide clients with a day of trying new things, meeting their peers, connecting with the community and, of course, fun. The day was a resounding hit with our clients, with one saying, “This is the best day ever!!” and another asking, “Why don’t we do this every weekend?!”

Brianna told us about enjoying the chance to see reluctant clients get out of their comfort zones, meet peers, and try new things. “I saw a client who we’ve known in the program for many years show off independence and life skills that they’ve gained through PRIYD. One client was doing so well advocating for themselves when they needed to take a rest. Another was nervous to try basketball but overcame it with the encouragement of their peers, staff, and volunteers.”

Being able to work closely with likeminded organizations gives us the ability to bring more value to our clients. One staff member from PRIYD summed it up perfectly saying, “I’ve never seen so many smiling faces in one day!” We’re so thankful to have had the opportunity to team up with SOBC to host such a fun, enriching day!