12 May Gibsons Community Centre’s Sunshine Shack Turns 15
On April 26, the Sunshine Shack at Gibsons Community Centre celebrated 15 years of providing community inclusion and both paid and volunteer employment for people with diverse abilities.
Gibsons Family Network (GFN) is a family organization that began in 2004 with the purpose of providing opportunities for young adults with disabilities, who wanted to learn new skills. GFN received charitable status in 2006 and in 2008 when the Gibsons Community Centre first opened, they started the mobile vending cart, the Sunshine Shack, serving coffee, tea and baked goods. GFN has a contract with the Sunshine Coast Regional District to operate the kiosk.
Our community has been extremely supportive with generous donations coming from individuals and local businesses including Super Valu, The Bakery, Strait Coffee, Sandy’s Bakery and IGA.
COVID caused a major disruption and a lot of isolation for our group, as they were considered very vulnerable. Our employees are delighted to have cooking and nutrition programs added over the past seven months with grants from both the Sunshine Coast Foundation and the Sunshine Coast Hospital Auxiliary. Cooking together is very therapeutic and everyone has enjoyed trying new recipes and learning about a variety of healthy meal choices that are simple and tasty.
Community Living BC provides funding for the part-time kiosk manager, Patty Shields and a part-time community inclusion coordinator, Jessica Simpson. GFN works to develop partnerships with other community organizations. The Sunshine Shack is open Monday to Thursday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Our community is so positive and welcoming. We hope you will drop by and say hi the next time you visit the Gibsons Community Centre. Our success is because of our community. Thank you to everyone who helped make this undertaking worthwhile. Directors of the GFN volunteer board include Pat Stuart, Mercy Campbell, Don Stuart, Allyson Paradise, Shannon Martel and Donnie McAra.