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Team News

Holiday Closures at The Spectrum Society Office

  • Thursday December 24th  – Closed
  • Friday December 25th – Closed
  • Monday December 28th – regular hours
  • Friday January 1st 2021 – Closed 
  • Monday January 4th – regular hour


COVID-19 Updates – December 21, 2020 – BC Recovery Benefit

Keeping Safe and Healthy Through the Holidays

The basics of keeping the people we support, our teams and your families Healthy and Safe are important to practice every day:

  • Stay home if you sick – Call 811 for further directions.
  • Wash your hands regularly
  • Keep your distance – at least two metres or six feet from people outside your bubble
  • Wear a mask on transit, in stores, in all indoor public spaces.
  • Keep your social bubble small – But stay connected with friends and family. Phone, video chat, go for a walk outside – it is so important to keep in touch.

Thank you to everyone for the amazing job everyone has done over the past nine months!

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BC Recovery Benefit

For people we support who are on provincial Disability Benefits (PWD), the Province is reducing the payment for the next three months.  Since April, people have received an extra $300 per month.  In January, February and March, you will receive $150 per month.  You are also eligible for the $500 BC Recovery Benefit, but must apply for it.  It is not automatically added to your PWD like the $300 payments were.   Here is more information from the government website:

The BC Recovery Benefit (the benefit) is a one-time direct deposit payment for eligible families, single parents or individuals. Benefit eligibility is based on net income from your 2019 tax return. You must apply to receive the benefit.

Benefit rates

The amount you’re eligible for will be automatically calculated based on your income when you apply.

Families and single parents

  • $1,000 for eligible families and single parents with a net income of up to $125,000
  • Reduced benefit amount for eligible families and single parents with a net income of up to $175,000

The benefit defines a family as an individual and their spouse or common-law partner, unless they are separated. Both people must be residents of B.C. on December 18, 2020.

The benefit defines a single parent as an individual who is the principal caregiver to at least one child.


  • $500 for eligible individuals with a net income of up to $62,500
  • Reduced benefit amount for eligible individuals with a net income of up to $87,500

Online applications

Applying online is the fastest way to get your payment.

Take your time when applying. Errors or incomplete information can cause long delays in processing your application.

This process takes approximately 15 minutes to complete.

Submit your application

You can use your desktop, tablet or smart phone. Your personal information is protected and secure.

After submitting, we’ll email you a confirmation number.

Phone applications

You can apply by phone with the help of our agents. Translation services are available to help you.

We anticipate high call volumes and strongly recommend applying online if you can.

Dial 1-833-882-0020

Our agents will complete the application with you and give you a Case ID number when you’re done.

Call us Monday to Friday, 7:30 am to 5:00 pm, excluding statutory holidays.

Submit eligibility documentation

If you’re asked to submit additional documents to support your application, include your confirmation numberor Case ID.

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Zoom Holiday Alternatives

Video chats have been the go-to this year for those looking to connect with loved ones outside their household, but a B.C. tech expert says there are other, less exhausting ways to stay in touch without touching during the holidays.

Research has shown that constant video chat meetings are draining users more than in-person conversations. If your work life is already filled with virtual appointments, the idea of a Christmas Zoom conversation may not be so appealing.

–      Make a Playlist and share music

–      Get gaming

–      Make it a movie night

Read more here:

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Local Holiday Concerts Now Online

Good Noise Gospel Choir:

This Christmas, celebrate the season by joining with the choir from the comfort of your own home as you watch a uniquely designed concert video that brings together the musicians and soloists along with the music and voices of Good Noise through creative technology. You will be brought back into the beauty of Christ Church Cathedral where the Good Noise Gospel Band, our guest artist Crystal Hicks and two of the choir’s soloists, Timothy Fuller and Syllona Kanu, were filmed and recorded live. The choir has done what so many choirs have while gathering together is restricted – created a virtual choir. Through the brilliance of creative editing, the live filming will be woven together with the virtual choir, and this video concert experience will keep us all connected as we continue to share the best of the spirit of the season.

Mixed Nuts – (The Nutcracker – Youth Ballet Dancers – Arts Umbrella)

Arts Umbrella Dance Company presents a modern and engaging twist on Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker, bringing together a flavoursome assortment of dance styles for an extra-special holiday treat.

This live holiday showcase is traditionally a landmark in our Dance calendar and AUDC dancers are so pleased to still have the chance to share the performance in a re-imagined digital setting.

This Special 2020 Edition Holiday Film version of Mixed Nuts (and Assorted Candies) will be available to view online at any time on Thursday, December 17 2020 through Thursday, December 31 2020. Access to the online screening is available by donation.

Enjoy the holidays from the comfort of your home and join us in celebrating the artistry and achievements of AUDC students.



We have all faced unprecedented challenges this year. By working together (while staying apart), we have learned that Canadians’ resilience and teamwork are as strong as ever. 2020 has been such an unusual year that it is important to make a special effort to look back at what we’ve learned as we come to its close.

Here are three ways to help end 2020 on a positive note:

With Gratitude

Not only have Canadians rallied through a challenging year, but we have also seen our front-line and essential workers excel in challenging conditions to keep us safe, our schools found creative ways to engage with students, neighbours stepped up for one another, and strangers helped each other out. Let’s end this year with what went right in the world – let’s be thankful for the things we often take for granted.

With Hope

There is a lot of uncertainty about the future and what it will mean for us socially, economically, physically, and mentally. It seems reasonable to worry – but we have also been encouraged by the resilience, neighbourliness, and good humour of Canadians. Let’s look at 2021 as an opportunity to keep doing amazing things – differently than what has been done in the past, but amazing nonetheless.

With Each Other

In some ways, it has been harder to make and maintain connections this year – “social distancing” has certainly lived up to its name. We have all made special efforts to stay connected with friends, loved ones, and colleagues through video conference, chat, phone, and email. We are leaning on each other to help us through challenging times and have appreciated how these odd circumstances have made us slow down to truly connect.

As we look back on this past year and welcome the next, let’s focus on bringing in this new year with kindness, gratefulness, and positive thoughts.


The GroupHEALTH Living Well Team

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GroupHEALTH: 15315 31st Avenue, Surrey, BC V3Z 6X2 CA




Staying Connected with Virtual Bingo

Ruth, Chantel and their teams have been planning a virtual Bingo event to help all the individuals we support stay connected and have some fun during this time!

Ruth pulling numbers. Bingo!

If anyone you support would like to participate please let Ruth and Chantel know and we will make sure you get the playing cards and stampers that are needed to participate.  We are trying to collect information to see how many people are interested to make sure we have enough supplies! We are hoping with enough interest this can be an ongoing event!

Contact us: or

Thank you Chantel and Ruth for helping people stay connected!

Link to Bingo Cards:  Bingo Cards


It is a great time to review the contents of emergency medical and earthquake kits in your home. 

Are your water and food rations currently dated? Other items like glow sticks and batteries have expiry dates. It’s a good time to make sure everything is up to date.

Did you use some of the medical supplies during the year?  Now is a great time to order replacement items.  Please note that WCB Level 1 First Aid Kits are required in all of the homes that are staffed.

Have there been changes in the number of people residing in your home?  Do you need more or less supplies?

Have any of the people you live with changed their diets over the past year? Do you need to change the dietary foods in their earthquake kits?

If you need help with restocking your emergency medical and earthquake supplies please feel free to contact Judy Smith at for assistance.

It is a good time to review all safety procedures in the home; making sure that exit routes are clear of debris, including accessing risk factors (for example, moving items on shelves that could fall and moving heavy items to bottom shelves instead of top shelves). Are all staff are familiar with where emergency care items are stored?  Please review the following information from our policy manual with the staff and individuals you support. Include staff to join on skype or zoom if you cannot meet in person so everyone is familiar with this process.


When you have completed your Earthquake Drill please record this information on Sharevision.


How to Register for Emergency First Aid Community Care:

Call St. John Ambulance: (604) 321-7242

If you did not have your first aid certificate upon hire, you are responsible for the initial cost, which is currently $102.00, and Spectrum covers renewal fees.

  • If you are renewing your first aid, ask St. John Ambulance to invoice Spectrum Society
  • Let them know Spectrum Society will be paying for your course fee.

*St. John Ambulance may request authorization from Spectrum. Email with the date/location you want to complete the course and we will call them to confirm your registration.

First Aid is a requirement for employment as indicated in ‘Policy 4: Requirements for Employment.’

If requirements for employment are not met within a timely manner, shifts will be suspended without pay until this requirement is met. Below is a link to Spectrum’s First Aid policy:

Please respond back with your course date.  Prior to attending the class please arrange a time to come to the office to receive your free face mask. 

For employees renewing their first aid, please ensure St. John’s Ambulance (SJA) includes the CPR pocket mask with your first aid registration. If the CPR pocket mask is not included with your registration fee, SJA requires attendees pay for this on the day of course completion; you can save your receipt and submit it to Human Resources for reimbursement.  

Please send your certificate of course completion to the Spectrum Society office to have your file updated.

Please let Judy know if you have any questions or issues registering, by emailing her at