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Community Conne ions newsletter

PARENTS' NIGHT OUT Parents' Night Out is a longstanding support group for north shore parents of young children who need extra support.

PARENTS' NIGHT OUT

Parents' Night Out is a longstanding support group for north shore parents of young children who need extra support. It is hosted by staff from a number of agencies, including ConneXions, who provide a variety of local children's programs. The workshops take place on the evening of the second Tuesday of each month from October to May, and are a combination of educational/information sessions and fun, family-oriented social events.

The coordinators source experts in various areas of interest and support, and some of the most popular workshops we have hosted are: stranger danger, dealing with your child's diagnosis, Individual Education Plans (IEP's), stress management, respite services, and self-care. Light refreshments are provided and sessions always allow time for parents to network and get to know one another in an informal setting.

Parents' Night Out hosts two social events, a family party for the holiday season, and a picnic in early June that is supported by all agencies providing north shore programs. These are highlights of the group's year; both events are hosted in accessible environments and welcome other family members, including siblings and grandparents. Upcoming sessions/events to look forward to are:

. Anxiety in your child - January 2012

. Positive approaches to behaviour support - February 2012

. Street proofing - March 2012

. Summer holiday programs - April 2012

. Scrapbooking - May 2012

. Multi-Agency family picnic - June 2012

Please contact Elizabeth Roach at 604.984.9321 if you would like more information about the support group, or if you are interested in attending an upcoming Parents' Night Out event.

ALL THOSE LITTLE JOBS-.

So many of us dream of opening our own small business but never take the leap. In the last 12 months at ConneXions a group of adults with special needs have gone beyond their dreams and started their own micro businesses, also called social enterprises.

A social enterprise is a business with a dual purpose; to obtain both a good financial return as well as a good social return on investment. In this case the social goal of these enterprises is for people with special needs to develop their skills, work in a meaningful manner and contribute to their local community.

The group looked for a need to fill in the market and came up with three new enterprises.

The first they named "Those Little Jobs". This business provides services to the community by carrying out the important little jobs that individuals or businesses need done but haven't got time to do such as flyer delivery, gardening, cleaning, grocery shopping or folding documents and putting them in envelopes. The team set up a website/blog (http: //thoselittlejobs. org), had business cards printed and ran a stall at a business fair. They love the variety in the jobs they complete and particularly enjoy the interaction with their community. They experience a high sense of achievement from being a part of something that is theirs - their idea, input, effort and product.

The second enterprise the team created is a computer cleaning business called "Bright Bytes Computer Maids". The team arrives at a business and quickly cleans and sterilizes the keyboard, screen, mouse, speakers as well as the desk under and around the computer.

The final new enterprise is a madeto-order lunch delivery service called "What's For Lunch?". The team receives orders then makes and delivers sandwiches, soups, drinks and snacks to businesses in the local area. They were recently given a generous donation of compostable soup containers from Canada Green Pack in North Vancouver and the team is very excited about now being "green" too.

If you would like to discuss any of these services please contact the Manager, Nathalie Callender @ 604.649.5561.

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