Staying Socially Connected Webinars

A 5-part webinar series to help people stay connected during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Isolation affects us all – disproportionately so for those with disabilities – and now more than ever, it is important that we ensure we stay socially connected.

The ability to stay connected to one another has dramatically changed over the last few months as most of us are staying home to protect ourselves and our loved-ones. As a result, many of us have lost our community connections, have less contact with family, friends and formal support, and are experiencing increased isolation. Though staying home protects everyone’s physical health, having little to no physical contact with those outside of our home can be detrimental to our mental wellbeing.

In collaboration with PLAN, we have developed a 5-part webinar series designed to help people facing social isolation stay connected during these unprecedented times. We are focusing on sharing the tools and resources required to ensure all members of our community are safe.


#1 – Don’t Wait to be Asked

For a variety of reasons (pride, past hurts, fear of being turned down, loss of confidence, confusion) not everyone will ask for help or actively pursue their dreams and goals. In this webinar, Rebecca Pauls and Shelly Nessman from PLAN, are joined by Accessibility & Inclusion Consultant Karen Lai, and Community Developer and Non-Profit Leader Rishia Burke, to discuss how and why it is important to reach out to people during this global pandemic to offer support.

#2 – Make it a Team Effort

In this webinar Jack Pearpoint joins Rebecca Pauls and Shelley Nessman to talk about the Joshua Committee, and sharing stories of how Judith Snow built her network.

#3 – The Latest Technology Helps

So does old technology like knocking on the door or picking up the phone. WhatsApp, Slack, NextDoor, FaceTime, private Facebook groups, email and telephone trees are simple ways to stay in touch and keep everyone up to date. In this webinar, Yona Lunsky, Irfan Jiwa, and Victor Pereira discuss the different platforms available and how technology can facilitate greater connections.


#4 – Little Things Make a Big Difference

It all helps. A phone call, a Netflix subscription, a bag of cookies, running an errand, or walking the dog. In this webinar, Rebecca Pauls and Shelley Nessman from PLAN are joined by Cathy Anthony and Shelley DeCoste to discuss how little things can make a big difference in the lives of your friends, neighbours, or loved-ones during this global pandemic.

#5 – The Majority of People Care and Want to Act

We can’t emphasize this enough. Despite what you may have read or thought, caring is in Canada’s DNA. In this webinar, Rebecca Pauls and Shelley Nessman from PLAN, along with guests Rachelle Czerwinski and Alex Magnussen, discuss how to ask for and accept help, and how you will actually be doing everyone a favour, including yourself.


Do you work or live with someone who is socially isolated including, seniors, people with disabilities and/or chronic health challenges, and youth? 

Plan Institute offers a Personal Support Network Development online course, facilitated by Rebecca Pauls, Executive Director of PLAN.

This 6-week, self-paced course builds on over 30 years of experience in facilitating hundreds of personal support networks for people living in isolation. Using our proven approach, this course provides participants with the knowledge and skills necessary to become a personal network facilitator.

Designed to be both practical and inspirational the course consists of four easy to follow modules:

1. Understanding personal support network facilitation

2. Developing a personal support network

3. Maintenance of a network

4. Addressing challenges and building confidence as a facilitator

To learn more, click here.