Damian Brennan, a musician and Community Support Worker with Chilliwack Society for Community Living, has been recognized for his work since coming to the organization. (Submitted)

Damian Brennan, a musician and Community Support Worker with Chilliwack Society for Community Living, has been recognized for his work since coming to the organization. (Submitted)

Brennan brings music to Community Living Society, earns award

Musician earns praise for natural ability to connect through music

Chilliwack’s Damian Brennan is one of four B.C. Community Social Services Leaders to be awarded recently.

Brennan, a community support worker for Chilliwack Society for Community Living, received the Rising Star award, given to an individual with less than five years’ experience in their field, but who demonstrates early success and great promise as a future leader.

The Community Social Services Association of BC (CSSEA) and Telus presented the award in late October at an event in Kelowna.

They said of Brennan: “A newcomer to the community social services sector, Damian has shown immense promise in working with developmentally disabled individuals throughout the Fraser Valley, particularly some who display challenging behaviours. He uses his skills as a professional musician to connect with individuals and devotes much of his own time and resources to support them. Damian is routinely available to family members at off hours, using his personal networks to connect individuals to their community.”

Brennan is also a local musician, and uses his music to help those he works with.

“It’s nice to be needed by people when they need your help or support and you can provide that. For me it’s natural,” Brennan says in a video created for the awards. In the video, his co-workers speak about how he’s developed the music program at the Chilliwack Society for Community Living, and what a natural support worker he is.

Other workers awarded were Paulina Weslowski, a Community Support Worker in Surrey, Diane Entwistle, CEO of the Okanagan Boys & Girls Clubs in Kelowna, and Kelly Kelland, CEO of Interior Community Services in Kamloops.

“Individuals from our sector work tirelessly behind the scenes and expect no recognition for their tremendous efforts,” said Gentil Mateus, CEO of CSSEA. “They serve B.C.’s vulnerable population, including seniors, children, individuals with developmental disabilities, abused women and new immigrants, so we are delighted to recognize those who have gone above and beyond.”