Meet Alec

You’d be hard-pressed to find a person who is as friendly, caring and fun as Alec. He loves to travel with family, cook with his brother-in-law David, and he never goes anywhere without his monkey, George.

Alec, who was born with Cerebral Palsy, experienced significant change in his life over the past year. After losing his father, he had to move in with his sister Sherri and her husband David, who became his primary caregivers. That major shift meant that he would need to adopt new routines and be surrounded by different people on a daily basis. He adapted well, but Sherri attributes much of his newfound confidence and independence to The Club Inclusion. 

Establishing new connections and friendships 

The Club, which is funded in part by United Way Halifax’s Community Fund, provides social, cultural and recreational programs to people of all ages with disabilities. Some of their regular programs are the main source of social connection in the lives of program participants, like their daily Social Club and their annual Summer Camp. 

According to Sherri, Alec has flourished since joining. He’s not only willing to do activities with his newfound peers, he’s excited about them. 

For Alec, it’s all about getting in some “guy time”. He loves the company of all of his peers at The Club, and adores his favourite counsellor, Fern. But Alec has two sisters, five aunts, and three nieces that he sees regularly, so he values the opportunity to have one-to-one time with other men.  

Some of his favourite activities at The Club are music therapy, painting/crafts and physical activities involving balls.  

He’s recently grown comfortable expressing himself through art at The Club and has been producing beautiful paintings filled with vibrant colours. Alec knows he’s safe and allowed to make his own decisions there, which provides him with the confidence needed to further develop skills.  

He also enjoys some of the other great activities they do, like going to the Discovery Centre (particularly the interactive dome), getting visits from their therapy dog Sookie, cooking class, campfires, bbqs and the highly-touted Prom Dance. 

Alec and his stuffed monkey George selling homemade blueberry muffins at The Club Inclusion Market. He created a storefront with windows using bristol board and a street sign out of paper towl tubes reading "Drury Lane"

Check out this photo of “The Muffin Man” selling his homemade blueberry muffins at the The Club Inclusion Market, conveniently located on Drury Lane.

Giving participants purpose

Participating in regular programming has allowed Alec to make many self-improvements. Before joining back in February, he used to sleep in until 10:30 a.m. and hang around the house a lot. Now, he’s up at 7:00 a.m. ready to head to The Club. His massage therapist and chiropractor are noticing a reduction in muscle tightness and improved strength from his increased mobility.  

“Alec is learning many new skills and is more able to meet his basic needs.  He’s shown improvements in his cooking, time management and his ability to communicate his needs. He’s speaking about new topics instead of the same familiar phrases that he knows everyone can understand him say.” – Sherri 

He even has his sights set on joining The Club’s Member’s Council at some point in the future.  

Respite for caregivers 

The Club Inclusion’s programming allows Sherri and David to have more independence as Alec’s caregivers and family members. Now that Alec has found a place where he feels fully welcomed and included, the three of them have struck a fantastic balance and routine that includes dropping Alec off at the Club almost daily.

“Alec only wants to be at the Club without us. He’ll say: It’s my time with my friends; you go to a coffee shop and come get me later. That is a major difference.” 

Thanks to donors like you, Alec can keep looking forward to The Club every week – and the The Club can continue to be the go-to place of connection and care for folks with disabilities in HRM.