Inclusion Works 100th Job

Wednesday 13 December 2017

Inclusion Works 100th Job  /Employer Enagagment

Inclusion Works is a person-centred service delivered by the Cedar Foundation across Northern Ireland. The service supports individuals to design their own programmes around their needs and aspirations. Our Case Officers work with participants to build confidence and independence to meet their employability and inclusion goals.

A key success factor is our Employer Engagement Strategy. This has helped us create and develop mutually beneficial partnerships with an increasing number of employers.

Cedar Executive Committee member, Martin Howell, visited Adam Bleakley in work at Castlereagh Hills Golf Club to congratulate him on becoming the 100th person supported by Inclusion Works to get back into a paid job. Martin has supported the Employment Staff Team at Cedar to devise and implement the new Employer Engagement Strategy and was delighted to celebrate this key success.

In 2015 Adam, from Fivemiletown, was studying for his level 2 Greenkeeping Course at Greenmount College (CAFRE) and also working as a trainee greenkeeper when he experienced a brain injury through contracting Chiarai Malformation. This a condition caused by structural defects in base of the skull which resulted in Adam having difficulties with stamina, fatigue, headaches and concentration meaning he could no longer focus on his studies or his work. He was referred to Cedar by the Western Health & Social Care Trust Community Brain Injury team in Enniskillen and introduced to his Case Officer Darragh Collins. Adam’s goals were a successful return to work and completion of his Level 2 Course.

 Darragh liaised with Adam’s supervisor and the Human Resources department to agree a phased return to work approach, offering advice and guidance to both Adam and his employer at key points. This was formally reviewed at agreed periods before Adam increased his hours in stages, eventually returning to full-time employment.

Darragh also liaised closely with Adam’s tutors at Greenmount to ensure he was managing his course and keeping on top of his assignments. Adam has since achieved his Level 2 qualification with CAFRE and hopes to undertake an A-Level in Maths in the near future. Darragh summarised the support provided “The phased return to work approach worked really well for Adam, with specific strategies introduced as challenges and issues arose.  Castlereagh Hills Golf Club were very accommodating and by working together we were able to support Adam reach his goal of getting back to work full time and complete his Greenkeeping course.”

Adam commented: “After my surgery it was difficult for me to talk about my struggles. Cedar supported me with this by helping me communicate with my employer and creating a plan to get me back work.”

Martin commented “Adam’s story highlights, not only his determination to overcome his personal challenges in successfully getting back to work, but also the importance of positive engagement between Cedar and his employer. I am delighted that Cedar has developed its Employer Engagement Strategy which we believe can lead to many more employers benefitting from the support and expertise provided by our services”:

The Inclusion Works programme is part funded through the Northern Ireland European Social Fund Programme 2014 – 2020, the Department for the Economy and all 5 Health and Social Care Trusts in NI.

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