Images shows two people standing either side of a banner that reads card. One taller than the other. Both brown hair.

Colin was referred to Cedar’s Southeastern Inclusion Works Program 2021 to support his person centered goals to gain employability skills. Originally diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis, Colin has been thriving under new medical treatment, diligently taking care of his health and is motivated to reach his life goals and make the most of his potential. Colin moved into the new Cedar SkillSET program in April 2023.

Colin said: 

"I was nervous at first arriving at Card. The role with Card was my first paid role and it was the best environment I could have hoped for. The team at Card helped me gain confidence and feel welcomed, it was a fantastic opportunity. With the experience and skills I’ve gained I’m excited and motivated to pursue similar roles in the future."

He has been working with Cedar Employment Officer Dean Polly and Skills Trainer Robin Hamilton to update his CV and gain employability and professional skills for future employment. Cedar Foundation and CARD Group Research & Insight based in Belfast worked collaboratively to provide an employment placement opportunity, offering work experience in a paid placement.  Colin successfully applied, interviewed and was accepted.  CARD Group pride itself on being a Living Wage Employer.  


Aoife Hamilton, Director of Corporate Development, said:

“CARD Group was keen to work with Cedar Foundation to offer a work placement for a disabled person to help them develop their employability skills and gain valuable on the job experience in our busy office. As well as supporting the individual, we knew this would benefit our company through introducing new skills, bringing a different perspective to our work, and promoting diversity and inclusion. This was our first time offering a work placement with Cedar Foundation, and we really benefited from their support. Any questions we had before and during the placement were quickly answered, and our wider team received excellent disability equality training. Our experience working with Cedar has been very positive. We would recommend participation in the SkillSET program to any employer, and look forward to our own continued involvement.”

Colin began his 18 week work placement as an Administrative Assistant with CARD Group in September 2023. Working under the supervision of Roxy Thompson (Research Officer), Colin thrived in his role. Throughout his placement Colin contributed to multiple work streams receiving positive feedback on his performance during regular reviews of his progress.

Roxy Thompson, Research Officer, said: 

“Colin was a pleasure to work with. From the beginning of his placement it was clear that he was committed to expanding his skill set, making the most of the work experience opportunity, and to doing an excellent job. He was enthusiastic to learn new skills from colleagues, and asked useful questions to keep his work on track. He took feedback on board to develop in the role, and it was great to see both his skills and his confidence grow. We really enjoyed having Colin on the team.”

Colin’s experience in his Work Placement, has proven to have a tremendous impact, he has enhanced his employability skills and experience and is motivated to use this to gain another employment opportunity in the immediate future.

The SkillSET project is funded by UK Government through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund.

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SkillSET | The Cedar Foundation (