Submitted photo Inclusion Parksville Society staff members and close to 70 individuals with diverse abilities in the Parksville Qualicum Beach area are celebrating the organizations 60 years in service this year.

Inclusion Parksville Society celebrates 60th year

Organization supports close to 70 individuals with diverse needs

This year mark’s the Inclusion Parksville Society’s 60th year supporting individuals with diverse abilities in the Parksville Qualicum Beach area.

Inclusion Parksville Society is a non-profit charitable organization that works with close to 70 individuals on life skills, employment assistance and socializing.

“We work with a person-centred approach, so each person has an opportunity to set goals and attend activities to work towards their goals,” said Inclusion Parksville Society executive director Barb Read. “We also try to balance in some learning and applied skills and socialization because a lot of the people that live on their own are lonely and don’t know how to make connections. I think we are sort of a hub to bring people together and make connections.”

Inclusion Parksville Society was started in 1959 by a group of parents who had children with diverse abilities. They wanted their children to go to schools in Parksville and Qualicum Beach and not go away to an institution.

In the 1970s, a sheltered workshop began, known as TEC (Technology Education Centre). Participants made and sold items such as pompoms, picnic tables, planter boxes, and stakes for BC Hydro, as well as working in a pottery studio.

In the 1980s, the association started to grow as adults moved from institutions back into their community. Throughout the 1990s and 2000s, Inclusion Parksville Society continued to expand and began offering more services to fit individual needs and goals such as a supported work program, self-help skills, semi-independent living, and more recently, a customized employment program, personalized supports initiative program and young adult program.

“Zoom ahead to the 21st century where [individuals] come and go and get to pick what they do and have their needs met and have input on their lives just like everybody else,” Read said. “We try to put it out there that they’re just the same as you and I, they just need some supports.”

Today, Read said she is working on a new initiative for the society that will bring the community together and further help individuals with diverse needs.

“We’re working on a big kitchen project,” she said. “In our building we have a space that used to be where the ambulance base was. We want to renovate that into a kitchen and another space into a café. My goal is for it to be a big commercial community kitchen and it’s a resource for the whole community and it will provide a lot of training opportunities for anyone with a barrier to employment not just the ones that I support.”

Read said funding for renovations have already been put aside and there has been a lot of interest from chefs and other people to provide training once the kitchen is complete.

A gala and dance is planned on Nov. 23, 2019 for the official 60-year anniversary celebration and more details will be available closer to the date.

Anyone interested in joining Inclusion Parksville’s membership can do so at

Just Posted

City of Parksville to look into cost, process of beach cleanup

Cleanup would include removing rotten logs, adding sand

BC Ferries to pilot selling beer and wine on select routes

Drinks from select B.C. breweries and VQA wineries to be sold on Swartz Bay to Tsawwassen route

RCMP ask Parksville Qualicum Beach businesses for help battling thieves

‘With your assistance forensic evidence could be located for prosecution’

Early morning break-in at Parksville Dairy Queen

Oceanside RCMP said incident occurred at 1:50 a.m. on April 17

Police roundup: Thieves hit Qualicum Beach coffee shop, Parksville hardware store

Bailey’s in the Village was broken into early Sunday morning

4 victims killed in Penticton shooting spree remembered at vigil

John Brittain, 68, is charged with three counts of first-degree murder and one count of second-degree murder

Inquest into Port Hardy police shooting moved to Campbell River

Family disappointed James Hayward coroner’s inquest rescheduled hours away

Undercover cops don’t need warrant to email, text suspected child lurers: court

High court decision came Thursday in the case of Sean Patrick Mills of Newfoundland

Whitecaps fans stage walkout over club’s response to allegations against B.C. coach

Soccer coach has been suspended by Coastal FC since February

Three climbers presumed dead after avalanche in Banff National Park

One of the men is American and the other two are from Europe, according to officials

Vancouver Island cat jumps from fourth floor to escape fire

Blueberry was missing after the fire but has been found

VIDEO: Trump tried to seize control of Mueller probe, report says

Special counsel Robert Mueller’s report revealed to a waiting nation Thursday

Contaminated soil to stay at contentious Shawnigan Lake site?

Reaction: “The community would lose their minds if this plan proceeds.”

Limits on chinook sport fishing could cause devastating economic ripples

Vancouver Island fishing guides concerned over salmon sport catch reductions to save declining stock

Most Read