Craig Cares at Crosskennan Animal Sanctuary

Tuesday 08 May 2018

Craig became a participant with The Cedar Foundation’s Inclusion Works programme in March 2017. He had been unemployed and inactive following a brain injury he acquired over ten years ago. With a dream of working with animals he set about working with his Case Officer, Karen Wright.

Craig said: “I worked closely with my Case Officer to identify goals I would like to achieve, mainly in the areas of employment & training. I have a real interest in working with animals but I did not know where to start, this is where Cedar helped.”

The first step was to complete in-house training courses in memory skills, planning and organising to help manage the effects of brain injury and to learn coping techniques that would help in future work placements or courses.

Craig added: “This training helped me build up my confidence with others, as I trained with other people with brain injuries, but it also helped me increase my confidence in my own ability and skills. I then progressed onto completing an IT course in OCR Digital Employability with Cedar to enhance my IT skills for future employment.”

Delivering Dreams

Craig commented: “Karen supported me to achieve my dream of working and caring for animals by setting up a work placement in an animal welfare placement at Crosskennan Animal Sanctuary. This has been a great placement which I have thoroughly enjoyed and after receiving great feedback after my initial placement I am now volunteering with them long term.”

The Inclusion Works programme is a person-centred, encouraging and supporting individuals to design their own programmes around their needs and aspirations, building confidence and independence. Following initial assessments, participants work with case officers, such as Karen, to build an action plan addressing their personal barriers and agree solutions to meet their employability and inclusion goals as demonstrated in Craig’s instance and subsequent success.

Speaking about the volunteer placement Craig continued: “The staff at Crosskennan have been very supportive and I am so thankful that they gave me an opportunity to work with them. I am now interested in looking at attending an Animal Care course at college in September, my Case Officer has looked into this for me and we are currently looking at my options.”

Want to know more about Inclusion Works?

The Inclusion Works programme is part funded through the Northern Ireland European Social Fund (ESF) 2014-2020, the Department for the Economy and all five local Health and Social Care Trusts.  It is available to those 16+ who have a physical or sensory disability, brain injury, diagnosis of ASD or a long-term health condition.  When people leave our service they move on to paid work, volunteering, further/higher education, training programmes and community activities in their local area.

If you would like to find out more please visit our Inclusion Works page. You can also find us on Facebook and Twitter.


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