The first phase of SNACS’ history goes back to 2002. It was then, under the guidance of Jeffery Hale Community Partners, that we started to really hear the concerns of English-speaking families in our community living with a handicapped person, as well as those of the professionals who help care for them. In response, we began to develop a community-based program to reduce isolation, build a network of mutual support, and facilitate access to other services.
The resulting SNACS Program offers a wide range of activities, such as Saturday Children’s Activity, Bowling, Supper with the Gang, and the After-School Program, while at the same time giving parents a forum in which to share their experiences and coping strategies, and voice their suggestions for new services. For more details, visit the SNACS Special Needs page of the Wellness Centre website. Volunteers welcome!
Phase II – SNACS Entrepreneurs’ Catering Service
Beyond social activities, it soon became very clear that there was also a great need for on-the-job training and employment opportunities for members of the English-speaking community with special needs. Both students and young adults alike required support in finding adapted workplaces. Consultations with various community groups on this matter led to the creation of a specialized work platform called SNACS Entrepreneurs’ Catering Service.
The work platform that SNACS Entrepreneurs’ Catering Service provided consists of an adapted and fully accessible state-of-the-art kitchen located at Quebec High School (QHS). This work platform allowed QHS’ special needs students a chance to develop their independence and enhance their social and vocational skills. It serves both special needs students, aged 15 to 21, and young adults, aged 21 and up. This platform allowed the possibility that provided some participants in this older age group with long-term, steady employment.
Work shifts took place both during and outside classroom hours. A team of professionals provided a constant presence that assured personalized services. The team also saw the business aspects of the program, and provided training adapted to the needs of the program’s participants, as well as its employees and volunteers.
The work generated by the SNACS Entrepreneurs’ Catering Service included assembling catered lunch boxes for corporate luncheons, catering for community events, as well as making prepared frozen meals for the community at large.
Phase III – Present and Future Learning Platforms
SNACS Entrepreneurs is currently focusing on organizing and running the Annual Book Fair at Eastern Quebec Learning Centre. Catering Service was its first work setting and platform. We have expanded these services to the on-site outlets of some of our partners in the community. We are closely collaborating with a couple of Community organizations such as the R.I.S.E. program and St Brigid’s Guild.
We are also actively exploring other vocational prospects suitable to those with special needs, such as residential cleaning and gardening, and would like to develop other work platforms in these areas. Contact Us for more details, or Make a Donation today and YOU can help make this dream come true!