Almost immediately after COVID-19 hit Canada in March 2020, Amy MacFarlane, Founder and CEO of Recreational Respite, realized she had a major problem. “All of our services shut down,” she says, remembering the chaos of those initial weeks. “Before the pandemic, we offered in-person one-on-one services and group programs in the community. We didn’t have anything virtual.”
Recreational Respite is a Canadian not-for-profit social enterprise that identifies barriers to participation and provides supports for those with disabilities or mental illness. The organization facilitates a variety of therapeutic recreational programming promoting inclusion, community participation, and social connectedness. But this programming was always conducted in-person..