‘Let’s Cook Together’, a new activity being run by Gateways Support Services, provides an opportunity for children and young adults with disabilities, including autism (ASD), complex needs and challenging behaviours, to learn one of life’s most important skills, how to prepare and cook healthy and delicious food.
The activity forms part of Gateways’ Recreation Program and has been made possible through a recent grant by the Geelong Community Foundation to build a purpose-built kitchen at Gateways Albert Street Office in West Geelong.
Gateways developed the Let’s Cook Together small group activity in response to growing demand for recreation programs for people with intellectual disability and complex behaviours, which also teach valuable independent living, social and communication skills. These skills promote happiness, wellbeing, inclusion and potential participation in the workforce, as well as providing a pathway to living independently.
The cooking activity was a great success over the recent school term with small groups of teenagers and young people putting the new kitchen to good use, with the support of Gateways’ qualified and experienced recreation staff.
Fifteen year old, Cloe enjoyed taking part and aims to build her independent living skills so she can move out of home one day.
Geelong Community Foundation CEO, Gail Rodgers, who attended the kitchen opening, said that her organisation was pleased to be able to support such a sustainable initiative.
“It is a great hands on opportunity for Gateways participants to broaden their experience and learn new skills and will continue to benefit many people for years to come.”