In Advocacy, News & Blog, Opinion, SCI BC Event, SCI BC News, Vivian's Corner

Each month Vivian Garcia, long time Peer mentor and organizer of the Surrey City Centre SCI BC Peer Coffee Group puts together a newsletter about upcoming Surrey events, opportunities, and important information for people living with SCI, and featured here in Vivian’s Corner.


This edition of Vivian’s Corner highlights: 

  • Connection
  • SCI BC’s Peer Program
  • InfoLine Corner: CPP Disability
  • Teri Thorson on Making Friends

Click here to download the PDF of the February newsletter.

SCI BC Surrey City Centre Bean There Coffee Group

Next Meeting: Wednesday, March 6

Theme: Wheelchair Maintenance with Macdonalds Home Healthcare

Surrey City Centre Library, READ Ability Lounge

In Full Newsletter:


Newsletter Snapshot

Spinal Cord Injury BC’s Peer Support Program

  • What is the Peer Support Program? Spinal Cord Injury BC’s Peer Support Program helps people with spinal cord injuries and those with related disabilities, overcome the challenges of living in a wheelchair by building communities of support throughout British Columbia.
  • Events throughout British Columbia: Spinal Cord Injury BC hosts more than 300 Peer events throughout British Columbia each year, ranging from laid-back BBQs, to more adventurous sports like adaptive kayaking, trail riding, paragliding and bungee jumping.
coffee group map bc
  • Weekly and monthly coffee groups: Our Peer staff and volunteers host coffee groups on a weekly or monthly basis in 11 communities throughout British Columbia. Your first drink is on us! Check out our events calendar.
  • Peer Matching: If would like to meet with a Peer one-on-one, we will connect you with someone who lives in your area who has gone through similar challenges as you as a result of their injury or disability. Peer Matches are with volunteers and meetings typically last for two hours. Peer Matches are one-time encountersContact your local Peer Program Coordinator to apply.
  • Peer Mentoring: If you would like to develop a long-term relationship with someone who really knows what you’re going through, our Peer Mentoring service is for you. We will match you with a trained Peer Mentor who has a similar background as you. Peer Mentors will meet with you on a monthly basis for at least one year. Contact your local Peer Program Coordinator to apply.

InfoLine Corner with Heather Lamb, MSW

Canada Pension Plan: What is it? 

CPP disability provides disability benefits to people under 65 who have made enough contributions to the Canada Pension Plan and who are disabled and cannot work at any job on a regular basis. It’s a taxable monthly payment. At 65, people transition to regular CPP but can then also qualify for Old Age Security and, for people who below a certain income level, GIS (Guaranteed Income Supplement).

Canada Pension Plan is a public pension plan that most Canadians and their employers pay into during their working years. It is available at 65 but people who retire early can opt in at 60 and receive a smaller amount per month.

Call SCI BC’s InfoLine: 1-800-689-2477, toll-free: 9 am–5 pm, Monday–Friday.

Or contact us via email at .

Heather Lamb, Information Resource Specialist

SCI BC’s Virtual Peer Program Coordinator Teri Thorson’s advice on how to make friends:

  • Be open about yourself (as much as you are comfortable with)
  • Be open to accepting others as they are
  • Listen and ask questions
  • Don’t offer advice but share your experience
  • Be positive
  • Smile!
  • Don’t take it personal, some friendships are not meant to be

Teri Thorson works at the Spinal Cord Injury BC Resource Centre in GF Strong twice a week, and runs the monthly topical SCI BC Virtual Peer Program discussions. Reach Teri at 

Teri Thorson, Virtual Peer Program Coordinator

Thanks for reading this month’s Vivian’s Corner! Stay tuned for Vivian’s March newsletter and be sure to join the Surrey City Centre Bean There Coffee Group meeting March 6 with special guest Eduardo from MacDonald’s Home Healthcare talking wheelchairs and equipment maintenance.

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