Thanks to the Community Lottery Tickets program at Globe Theatre a participant in our Supportive Living Program (SLP) had the opportunity to step out of their comfort zone and into the arts.

Ranch Ehrlo Society supports persons with differing abilities by providing group living, educational, and vocational programs to people with multiple, complex developmental needs in our SLP programs. Care and support are focused on person-centered and strength-based services.

Greg*, an SLP participant, had never been to a play but as a die-hard Rider fan, the #34 play at Darke Hall about the life of George Reed was right up his alley. When Ranch Ehrlo received free tickets to the play it was a perfect opportunity for Greg to try a new experience and have the opportunity to wear his Rider green.

“For our participants who have been at Ranch Ehrlo for a number of years and who depend on their structures and routines it can be difficult to introduce new events and activities, but there are so many benefits to taking chances and trying new things!” explained Jacqui Wong, caseworker at Ranch Ehrlo.

The success of Greg attending the performance was largely due to the relationship he has with staff, specifically personal support worker Brenda Bulych. Greg initially experienced a lot of anxiety about the fact he had never been to a play before, the icy conditions, that he didn’t know who would be there, and that he was concerned he would fall on the stairs, but with reassurance and support, Brenda was able to get him to the performance and encourage him to enjoy his time there.

“Once inside he took pictures of the building and the George Reed display at the front entrance,” Brenda said. “When the show started, he watched with interest, and when game clips were shown he was the loudest one cheering!”

Brenda added that his favourite part was when an actor ran through the crowd dressed as a Rider fan cheering ‘Go Riders Go’ and Greg shouted just as loud as the actor did.

“As we were leaving Greg made me stop to listen to the song in the lobby, it was a Rider song Green is the Colour, we sang the song all the way home,” Brenda added.

Jacqui added that supporting our participants as they step out of their comfort zones can help to develop their self-confidence as well as their sense of pride and self-esteem once they have tried a new activity.

“Taking a risk and trying something new can be an excellent opportunity for personal growth,” Jacqui concluded.

*Name changed for privacy