Almost a decade ago, Lucy sustained a major head injury. She lives with anxiety, memory loss, vision challenges, and other symptoms stemming from the injury.
In 2015, Lucy turned her love for animals and experience in the area of mental health into the Lil’ Steps Wellness Farm (new window). “It’s really the best job,” she says.
Lil’ Steps is a fully comprehensive animal assisted therapy facility in St. Malo, Manitoba. They specialize in treating adults and children experiencing mental health difficulties.
Over the years, says Lucy, “It’s been growing and expanding. Last year – what I call the COVID year – has been [all about] trying to move online.”
While working on her business, Lucy had been involved with Community Futures’ Elevate program (new window). Seeing Lucy’s goal of increasing her online presence, they referred her to Neil Squire and the Digital Jumpstart program.
“It was really nice,” she says about her six-week participation in Digital Jumpstart. “I was able to get information on marketing online. That was helpful for me. Receiving the computer was huge. Having a computer that works fast enough and is able to hold all the information I need – that was really important.”
Internet service was another challenge for Lucy. Through the program, she was able to find a solution.
“I live in a small town and it’s not an easy place in terms of internet access,” she explains. “Neil Squire was able to cover six months of my internet service. I can only afford a basic package, so they were able to get me something that was fast enough to be able to help me do my business online.”
These tools have helped her take the business to the next level.
“I feel I have a lot more confidence now, in terms of the online world. Computer, internet – I feel like I have the tools to keep that going and have that good flow. With COVID impacting us so much and making us re-evaluate how we do our business, it really helped that transition.”
“It’s been wonderful,” says Lucy about the program. “And everyone’s been so kind. Any time I have a conversation with somebody, they are a pleasure to talk to, and really open and helpful. It’s nice to have that help when things are not great for small businesses and people who struggle with disabilities. To be able to help us out is huge.”
This project is funded by the government of Canada’s
Opportunities Fund for Persons with Disabilities