Weathering the Storm

By Executive Director Gail T. Brown, CRC, LRC, LCSW

October was a busy month for us at NEV, filled with lots of events and parties, but before the month ended, our emergency preparedness plan was tested, adding a bit more to our task list. A storm that packed powerful winds blew in on a Sunday night, leaving most of the South Shore, as well as other parts of the state, without any power on Monday morning. As is typical of New England Village, our staff—from administrative personnel to the DSPs to the maintenance department, rallied together like a high-performing team to ensure that quality supports and services remained in place and that everyone was safe and comfortable during the power outage.

Despite a lack of lighting, heating and other basic necessities at the Sollar Wellness Center, staff there did an outstanding job of creating some last minute activities. From an art offering to fitness fun to Halloween Hangman to Table Top games, there were plenty of activities to keep participants busy and entertained.

While we could have viewed this storm as a major disruption and become annoyed by the aggravation it caused, instead we chose to look at it as an opportunity to reassess our plan, to see what worked well and what areas needed to be fine-tuned.

In New England, the best time to discover that equipment needs to be repaired or that emergency plans need to be updated, is before the first snowflake falls and cold temperatures set in. This October storm provided us with such an opportunity and we seized it. Though all of our homes and facilities are equipped with generators, one of the machines needs to be repaired and we will have that fixed before winter arrives. Though we have a good communication plan in place, we discovered that our contact lists need to be updated, and we are now working on this task. Storms like the one we experienced on October 30 inform of us some of our weaknesses and we are fortunate to have the opportunity to strengthen these areas. Fortunately, NEV has a well-developed emergency preparedness plan in place which ensures the safety and well-being of our residents, day participants, and staff. And we are hoping that we will not be testing that plan again—at least not until next fall!

Family Values

By Executive Director Gail T. Brown, CRC, LRC, LCSW

The importance and value of family and friends cannot be understated and that is why New England Village takes special pride every year in organizing its Family Day event. Over the years, however, this day has become something that staff looks forward to as much as the individuals we serve and, as expected in any close tight-knit community, we have developed personal Continue reading

Beaming With Pride

By Executive Director Gail T. Brown, CRC, LRC, LCSW

It is with great pride and gratitude for our compassionate and dedicated staff that I share the impressive results of our recent Licensing and Certification review conducted by the DDS Office of Quality Enhancement.  We were, once again awarded a two-year license for all of our day and residential programs and the results were outstanding!  Our Residential Services and In- home Supports received a rating of 99%  for licensing standards and 86% for certification Continue reading

Brotherly and Sisterly Love


By Mary Stanley, PR and
Marketing Coordinator, Mary Stanley

“Siblings – the definition that comprises love, strife, competition and forever friends” – Byron Pulsifer

There is no question that the bond between siblings is a special one.  They are the link to our past and the ones most likely to be with us in the future. Who else but a sister or brother has known us from our very youngest self to our present? We cheered for them, shared our secrets with them, celebrated with them and grieved with them. We have seen them at their best and their worst. Siblings are the people we teased and fought with as children and then made up with; they are the people we protected and defended, because they were, above all else, family. Continue reading

You Can’t Beat A Drum Circle!

By Mary Stanley, PR and
Marketing Coordinator, Mary Stanley

If there is any question about the benefits of a drum circle, it was answered this past month when music instructor Sean Carr brought his djembe drums to Pembroke Library for a community drumming workshop. This all inclusive circle, which brought together people from the community with individuals from New England Village, had the same results as previous drumming events: lots of laughter, lots of participation, and a little bit of noise!

As Sean so eloquently states at the beginning of each of his circles, everybody has rhythm. If you have a heartbeat, you have rhythm—and then he goes on to Continue reading

The Benefits of Buying Early

By Mary Stanley, PR and
Marketing Coordinator, Mary Stanley

As the calendar changes over to April, our thoughts may turn to spring and the gardening season. Though I do not have a garden of my own, I have a deep and profound appreciation for vegetables that are locally—and organically—grown. This appreciation was instilled in me by my grandfather, an avid gardener who grew a large variety of vegetables and whose bounty filled our dinner tables from July to November. Continue reading

There’s Nothing Down About It

A blog post by PR and Marketing Coordinator, Mary Stanley

On March 1st, we ushered in the campaign to “spread the word to end the word,” referring to the use of the “R” word.  This designated date fittingly rolls into a month-long promotion to raise awareness of Down syndrome. While most people are aware of this disability—and I use the term disability here, loosely—what we really need to stress this month are the abilities of people born with an extra chromosome. Continue reading

The Sollar Wellness Center – Your Health is our Mission

Mary StanleyA blog post by PR and Marketing Coordinator, Mary Stanley

February can be a difficult month—usually cold and snowy—providing little motivation to stick to New Year goals and resolutions to stay fit, take better care of ourselves or to try something new. But thanks to community centers like the Sollar Wellness Center, getting healthy or stepping outside of our comfort zone to try new things, whether it’s a fitness program or an art class, has never been easier. Continue reading

A New Year and a Fresh Start

A blog post by PR and Marketing Coordinator, Mary Stanley

New Year’s Eve signifies the end of one year and the start of another—it is a time for reflecting on all that has occurred over the past 12 months and then looking toward the future with a renewed sense of optimism. For many people, 2016 may have been a difficult year—one that was fraught with difficulties or loss and 2017 represents a fresh start and a time to be filled with the hope that the next 12 months will be better than the last. Continue reading

In the Spirit of the Holidays

Mary StanleyA blog post by PR and Marketing Coordinator, Mary Stanley

With the holiday season well underway, it is difficult not to think about the spirit of giving and what that truly means. I remember as a child, carefully selecting items for the people on my list and being genuinely excited about giving the gifts I had chosen. Those memories serve as a reminder to me of what this season is really about—the sincere desire to give something special to someone for the sole purpose of letting that person know I care. Because of those experiences earlier in my Continue reading