Laura Campbell was one of eight people to receive the Community Living BC Widening Our World award in 2020. (Courtesy of Laura Campbell)

Laura Campbell was one of eight people to receive the Community Living BC Widening Our World award in 2020. (Courtesy of Laura Campbell)

Victoria woman earns provincial award for work with differently abled adults

Widening our World awards recognize community, inclusivity building

Knowing the importance of routine to the differently abled adults she works with on a daily basis, Laura Campbell was quick to adapt to online activities when COVID-19 forced her in-person program to close.

She is one of eight B.C. residents who received 2020 Community Living BC Widening our World awards, intended to celebrate individuals who are making their communities more inclusive.

Campbell is the program coordinator at Good Neighbours and organizes day services for Greater Victoria adults with disabilities. Normally, participants attend programming five days a week for five to six hours a day. It’s something both participants and their caregivers depended heavily upon. So, when in-person programming was shut down for four months, Campbell knew she had to act.

RELATED: Pandemic raises stakes for B.C. residents with intellectual disabilities

“My aim was to do as much as I could to bring a bit of normalcy,” she said. Her and a colleague quickly took to YouTube to provide weekly Zumba classes and baking videos. Campbell also went on a giant shopping spree and delivered “ninja bags” of activity and colouring books and beach toys to participant’s homes with a note wishing them well. For those who were interested, she conducted Zoom calls so participants could stay in touch.

“It was just something nice to connect within our organization,” she said.

Luckily, by mid-July Good Neighbours was able to re-open its in-person programming with a staggered morning and afternoon session system. For participants who are immunocompromised, team members visit them personally for walks, hikes and chats.

Campbell said her job is immensely rewarding. “We give to them, but they give to us more than I think outsiders would think. We always leave with a fun story or good memory.”

Longterm, her goal is to normalize the inclusion of people with disabilities into everyday activities.

Of the eight award recipients, another woman is also from Victoria. Susan Simmons was recognized for her work coordinating an eight-week, 80-kilometre swim for athletes with developmental disabilities from Brentwood Bay to the Colwood Waterfront last August. She is well-known for swimming from Port Angeles to Victoria, across the Haro Strait and other ultra-marathon swims.

RELATED: Eight-week, 80-kilometre swim ends at Esquimalt Lagoon

RELATED: Susan Simmons begins a 24-hour swim from Victoria to Port Angeles and back


Do you have a story tip? Email: jane.skrypnek@blackpress.ca.

Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, and like us on Facebook.

AwardsCoronavirusdisabilitiesGreater VictoriaVictoria

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Ron Sivorot, business director at Kennametal’s Langford site, the Greater Victoria facility that made a component being used on NASA’s Perseverance rover on Mars. (Jake Romphf, Black Press Media)
NASA’s Perseverance Mars rover using piece made at Kennametal’s Langford site

The Greater Victoria plant’s tooth blank is helping the rover’s drill collect rock cores

A provincially appointed consultant has recommended a change to the funding formula for the VicPD that will save Esquimalt a significant amount of money. (Black Press Media file photo)
Esquimalt to save a bundle on policing costs under new formula

Provincial consultant studied funding model, resource deployment for VicPD

A rockfall closed Finlayson Arm Road and West Shore Parkway on Friday (March 5) afternoon. (Twitter/BC Transportation)
UPDATED: Malahat reopens following rockfall

Section of Trans-Canada Highway was scheduled for intermittent closures today for rock scaling work

A Victoria resident was scammed out of $1,700 after a fraudster impersonated a police officer and convinced the victim to pay a non-existent fine in Bitcoin. (Unsplash)
Fraudster impersonates Victoria police officer, steals $1,700 in Bitcoin

Phone call showed up as VicPD’s non-emergency line

The Tsartlip First Nation was outraged after Green MLA Adam Olsen revealed on social media that the community had been experiencing a COVID-19 outbreak – a fact the First Nation had chosen to keep private to avoid racist backlash as experienced by the Cowichan Tribes when an outbreak was declared there in January. (Black Press Media file photo)
Tsartlip First Nation ‘outraged’ after Green MLA revealed COVID-19 outbreak

Chief shares concerns about racist backlash, MLA Adam Olsen apologizes

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C. on the COVID-19 situation. (B.C. government)
Dr. Bonnie Henry predicts a ‘post-pandemic world’ for B.C. this summer

‘Extending this second dose provides very high real-world protection to more people, sooner’

Malawian police guard AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines after the shipment arrived in Lilongwe, Malawi, Friday March 5, 2021. Canada is expecting its first shipments of AstraZeneca vaccine next week. (Associated Press/Thoko Chikondi)
B.C.’s daily COVID-19 cases climb to 634 Friday, four more deaths

Currently 255 people in hospital, 66 in intensive care

A crashed helicopter is seen near Mt. Gardner on Bowen Island on Friday March 5, 2021. Two people were taken to hospital in serious but stable condition after the crash. (Irene Paulus/contributed)
2 people in serious condition after helicopter goes down on Bowen Island

Unclear how many passengers aboard and unclear where the helicopter was going

Surrey Pretrial in Newton. (Photo: Tom Zytaruk)
B.C. transgender inmate to get human rights hearing after being held in mostly male jail

B.C. Human Rights Tribunal member Amber Prince on March 3 dismissed the pretrial’s application to have Makayla Sandve’s complaint dismissed

Supporters rally outside court as Pastor James Coates of GraceLife Church is in court to appeal bail conditions, after he was arrested for holding day services in violation of COVID-19 rules, in Edmonton, Alta., on Thursday March 4, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
‘Law remains valid:’ Pastor accused of violating health orders to remain in jail

The Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms is representing the pastor

The Netflix logo on an iPhone. B.C. delayed imposing sales tax on digital services and sweetened carbonated beverages as part of its response to COVID-19. Those taxes take effect April 1, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, Matt Rourke
B.C. applies 7% sales tax on streaming, vaping, sweet drinks April 1

Measures from 2020 budget were delayed due to COVID-19

A lawyer wears a face mask and gloves to curb the spread of COVID-19 while waiting to enter B.C. Supreme Court, in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, Aug. 28, 2020. British Columbia’s highest court has sided with the land owner in a dispute over public access to public land. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. high court finds in favour of large landowner in fight over access to pair of lakes

The Nicola Valley Fish and Game Club launched legal action after the cattle company blocked road and trail access

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau holds a press conference in Ottawa Friday, March 5, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Trudeau holds firm on premiers’ health-care funding demands, COVID-19 aid comes first

Premiers argue that the current amount doesn’t keep pace with yearly cost increases of about five per cent

Free Reformed Church is seen as people attend service, in Chilliwack, B.C., on Sunday, Feb. 21, 2021. Lawyers for the British Columbia government and the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms are back in B.C. Supreme Court today, squaring off over the legality of COVID-19 rules that prohibit in-person religious services. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. top doctor has power to restrict access to a place during health hazard: lawyer

Under B.C.’s Public Health Act, Jacqueline Hughes says, Henry can restrict or prevent entry to a place

Most Read