Friday 20 December 2019

With a Little Help From Friends Christmas Special - Vela Update 2020

You know I like to crack wise at the beginning of all my posts right? I'll throw in a few goofy gags to make you either a) spit your hot beverage through your nasal cavities or b) roll your eyeballs - possibly, if I have done my job properly, roll them both in opposite directions to each other. However, when I write these little posts pointing you in the direction of charities and good causes that are in some way linked to Corner Gas, I feel a bit bad doing it.

When I wrote about The Dog River Howlers, I rather flippantly broke down the rules of the game of Rugby as perceived by someone who only ever played the game out of duress because his school made him play it. I bruise easily. I hummed and harred about doing it but I figured Rugby players are big and tough and can handle a gentle ribbing from someone who could be crushed by merely standing in one of their shadows. 
In this post to get round this ethical conundrum I came up with the perfect answer as to how to get a serious message across and still provide a giggle at the get go. That answer was to take the mickey out of Rugby players again because they are rough and tough and can handle it nicely, like Gentlemen who squish other gentlemen into mud dominant playing fields for fun and sometimes profit. Mission accomplished - on to the serious stuff. 

The wonderful Gabrielle Miller is on the board of directors for Vela Canada. Vela is a non-profit society that provides information and mentoring to individuals with disabilities and their trusted others to take greater control of his/her life by exploring ideas and options that can lead to customized, inclusive and creative supports and services. This is done by the forming of a Microboard or accessing Individualised Funding. They are currently struggling and need help which is something I think our little global community (48,000 of you and counting - thanks for reading by the way) can do in spades

What is a Microboard  and  Individualised Funding? I'm glad you asked, because I didn't know either, so I looked it up.
A Microboard is a small group of committed family and friends (a minimum of 5 people) who join together with the individual to create a non-profit society.  It is a formal support group that may also access funding the individual may be eligible to receive. The board helps the individual 
  • plan his/her life;
  • brainstorm ideas;
  • advocate for what they need;
  • monitor services and ensure they are safe;
  • connect to his/her wider community; and
  • do fun things together.
A Microboard can also access funding and deliver the services that the individual needs.  Together you can create services that are creative, flexible and reflect the needs of the individual. Funding may come from a government agency such as the Ministry of Children and Family Development, Community Living BC, the Ministry of Health, a trust or a settlement. If the Microboard does not want to access funding and deliver the services, the individual may still choose to access Individualized Funding.
Individualized Funding (IF) is a payment option for individuals served by Community Living BC (CLBC). IF lets you use the money given to you by CLBC to create new, different kinds of services that will support you in your community. With IF the individual chooses a trusted family member or friend to be the Agent. The Agent can access the funding in two ways:
Direct Funding: Where the Agent, receives the funds and purchases the supports and services needed. This means the Agent directly employs or contracts with caregivers and takes care of all of the administrative responsibilities.
Host Agency: Where a Host Agency service provider, chosen by the Agent, receives the funds and provides the supports and services needed. This means it is the Host Agency that employs or contracts with caregivers and takes care of all of the administrative responsibilities. (A Host Agency is an agency that has been approved by CLBC to administer Individualized Funding and work with the individual and his/her Agent to arrange and manage the services.) CLBC can provide you with a list of agencies that are approved as Host Agencies.

Vela provides information, support, and guidance for those interested in Individual Funding and/or Microboards. There is no charge for their services in British Columbia.
Vela have been outstandingly successful. Since 1990, they have supported the creation of 1,100 Microboards in British Columbia. As a result they have been asked to help international family groups, organizations and governments to do the same. They have provided information and/or mentored groups in other provinces of Canada; Australia; a number of U.S. states; Ireland; England; and Northern Ireland.
What I have bought you here is the very basics of what the charity do. The work is very important, helping disabled individuals by providing support and funding to overcome any difficulties the individual may need to overcome. 
This is a fantastic group and I urge you to visit their website for more detailed information. When there you can find information how you can either become involved or make a donation.

Yesterday, the President of Vela, Christina Thomas, tweeted a letter asking for help. Vela are struggling to keep up with demand for their services. You can read the whole letter here

At this time of year when we think of our loved ones why not also think of others that might need or at least benefit from a little bit of help and support. I am happy to help spread that love this season and through out the year. Please help me and Vela by doing the same via their website, or social media if you feel so inclined. 

Anyway, I have to go. There appears to be a line of burly, muddy gentlemen banging on my door. did that big one get a cauliflower nose?

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