“I knew Sharon loved rock music from the moment I started working at Bolivar Court because she would sit outside her unit with her music blasting. Her favourite artist, of course, is Bryan Adams because she constantly talks about him.”
Rachel knew cultivating a trusted relationship with Sharon was essential to successfully supporting her. She would sit outside with Sharon and sing along to the songs she played. She soon came to know Sharon, her struggles, and her dreams.
“Last year, Sharon mentioned to me that she had really wanted to go to a Bryan Adams concert when he was in Vancouver, and that she had tried to save for a ticket, but in the end, wasn’t able to save enough. This had really disappointed and upset her. She ruminated on it for a while.”
Rachel could sense what an experience like this would mean to Sharon: “Sharon had gone through a really tough year. I think, as anyone who has experienced stress understands, it’s nice to get out and forget the stress for a bit.”
Rachel used her creativity and determination to help Sharon get the experience she wanted. Rachel called other social service agencies to ask how they secured tickets to events for their clients. She was referred to ticketing organizations but wasn’t having success.
“As a last attempt, I tried Live Nation, the concert organizer, and finally got the response I wanted.”
Rachel informed her supervisor and colleagues about the tickets, and the team joined in to make the event even more special for Sharon. They picked out an outfit for her, did her makeup on the day, and allocated some funds for snacks while at the concert.
“We ate hot dogs and had fun having our photos taken. I wish you could have seen her singing and dancing! She told me after that having me, a support worker, with her at the concert helped her feel safe while out in the community.”
After the concert, Rachel observed an improvement in Sharon’s well-being and in her relationships with all Fraserside support workers: “There is more willingness in her to work with staff. She also seemed happier and less depressed. This really confirms for me the important job we have to assist our residents in integrating with, and having access to services within, the community.”
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