Recently one of our service users on our South Eastern Inclusion Works service shared his story with us and told us about the difference the support has made to his life. He prefers not to share his name but this is his story...

He started with the service in June 2018 following a referral to the programme by his Access and Support Officer at South Eastern Regional College, where he was studying Level 2 & 3 Travel and Tourism. The service was ready to support with university applications, the student finance process and with accessing practical support on campus to ensure he could attend his classes safely.

With the support of his Case Officer using Person Centred planning, he set a goal of studying a part time course at university. He enrolled at the University of Ulster and is studying BSC Hons Politics with Criminology. The Case Officer arranged, and accompanied him to, meetings with learning support at university. These allowed consideration of his needs and discussion about ways to support him with his studies including a new iPad, IT support and Scribe. He also accessed ‘classroom support’ in lectures and classrooms. Family members have been able to act as this support.

Case Officers also offered support with completing Student Finance applications and Cedar have provided financial support for transport to/from University. While the current COVID-19 pandemic and restrictions have impacted on course delivery he has been able to continue studies remotely with classes facilitated via Zoom and his family members continuing to support him. He has stayed in touch with via telephone and Zoom calls. Despite the challenges he has excelled in his studies, making the Dean’s list for achieving average 70 and above marks in all assignments for academic year 2019/2020.

Speaking about his experience of the Inclusion Works programme the Service User said:

“The Inclusion Works program was vital to me transitioning to Ulster University. My Case Officers were really nice and helpful supporting me to fill in the student finance forms, and accompanying me and my family to meetings with student support. This was really important because the Case Officers advocated for the support I needed. Overall, I feel that the Inclusion Works Program is a brilliant example of the crucial work that Cedar does."