Paul Ewart's Story
Thursday 08 September 2016
In 2009 I was knocked off my motorbike and acquired a Brain Injury and many other physical injuries. My life had completely changed and I struggled to come to terms with it. I thought my head was going I didn’t know if I was coming or going. I forgot things that people told me, I got confused and I couldn’t understand why.
It wasn’t until I attended Cedar in 2013 that I understood what my brain injury was and how to deal with it in everyday situations. The Cedar Foundation supports you to understand your strengths and to build on your weaknesses. Cedar supports you to set realistic goals, supports you to look at re-training, identifying work tasters/placements, individual work, building on basic ICT, Literacy and numeracy skills and supports you to become more involved in your community.
For me personally Cedar supported me to learn new strategies to manage my fatigue, and to give me strategies and techniques to manage my memory. I also attended sessions to help me identify the skills and abilities I have. This enabled me to match my expertise to possible work roles. I have attended job search and interview skills training which I have found very useful. Meeting other people at Cedar helps me realise I’m not the only person with problems. It has been good to be able to share ideas, tips and strategies with others with a brain injury.
I always had an interest in Art and my grandmother always said that I should have done something with it. However, I chose a different career path. After my brain injury I was no longer able to return to the career that I previously had. Cedar began supporting me to look at different career options. After a chance conversation about airbrushing Cedar supported me to enrol on an airbrushing course with SM Designs. This re-sparked my interest in art and airbrushing and I have since attended four airbrushing courses with them. I now see myself as having a career in this area. My father has supported me to achieve my new goal and has converted my garage to an airbrushing workshop.
I really feel that my life is moving forward and I have an achievable goal to strive for. My ultimate aim is to become self-employed as an Airbrush Artist and I believe this is achievable due to the help and support that I have received from my family and the Cedar Foundation. I am carrying out loads of work on personal practice pieces and I will be uploading these to my portfolio on my Facebook page Atomized Art NI. I want to give special thanks to all those who have helped me on my way.
I'd also like to personally thank Cedar for the support that they have given me I took the colours and logo of the cedar foundation and the inclusion work programme and designed a new helmet and airbrushed this. I hope that this helmet can now be used to promote the services that Cedar Foundation offers and to show others who attend the programmes that with the right support anyone can achieve anything.
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