Parkdale-High Park MPP Cheri DiNovo, along with the West Toronto Junction Historical Society’s Brendan Fitzpatrick, were special guests at a luncheon hosted by the West Toronto KEYS to Inclusion, prepared by adults with intellectual disabilities.
DiNovo and Fitzpatrick dined with KEYS (Knowledge + Experience = Your Success) participants at their monthly meal, Friday, Dec. 23.
The Lunch’n Learn activity is the first initiative KEYS launched in September after its move to 2934 Dundas St. W. in the heart of the retail strip.
“We cook every day together,” said KEYS Lunch’n Learn co-ordinator Meghan Bruni. “On Fridays, we cook a meal together and we share it with people in the community who have supported KEYS.”
So far, KEYS has five members in its new space, which is run by the members’ parents, said Bruni.
Since its inception last year, KEYS continues to strive to help create neighbourhood opportunities for learning, work, volunteer and social experiences for people with an intellectual disability, according to its president Helene Paulyn Murray.
“KEYS believes this is integral to the successful creation of strong and vibrant communities, which include people of all abilities,” she said.
KEYS’ aim is to ensure that its partnership with Community Living Toronto is highlighted through its work at the Junction location. The goal is to provide services to people with an intellectual disability within the community they live.
KEYS was founded by about a dozen families, who banded together to help their adult children with intellectual disabilities reach their full potential. The creation of KEYS was in response to a lack of activities for developmentally handicapped adults, one of its founders, Patricia Patterson, told The Villager in an interview last year.
The Lunch’n Learn activity is comprised of a two-hour lunch that involves cooking, meal planning and shopping together, said Bruni. It offers participants crucial life skills, she explained.
KEYS’ mission is to increase its relationship with the business community while providing a physical space for young adults to call their own.
If you would like to volunteer or are a business owner interested in getting involved with KEYS, visithttp://westtorontokeys.com
Bloor West Villager: Inside Toronto December 29, 2011
Staff photo/IAN KELSO