Cedar’s Inclusion Works team has been successful in securing funding from the European Social Fund during the second call of applications. We want to celebrate this and the success of the previous programme, having exceeded all targets with our participants.  Cedar supported over 700 people with disabilities to achieve their goals of employment and inclusion, including 112 people into paid jobs. For people living with disability this funding means that Cedar can continue to work in partnership with our local councils, health trusts, employers and training providers to progress inclusion for people with disability through work, training, volunteering, gaining new skills and qualifications.

People with disabilities face multiple barriers to employment resulting in high levels of economic inactivity and social exclusion. Only 37.8% of working age disabled people are in work versus 77.9% without disabilitiesPeople with disabilities are 2.5 times more likely to have no qualifications. Cedar has over 75 years’ experience of supporting people with disability and has demonstrated that these barriers can be overcome with specialist support. 

Charlene participates in the Inclusion Works programme. When asked about the challenges they faced in relation to training and work. Charlene said:

"When I started Zen I was a bit nervous but the girls made me feel very welcome.  I have learned new things, like the proper way to do nails.  I needed Clare from Cedar to set up my placement in Zen as I don't think I would have the confidence to do it on my own.  I really like it at Zen and they are really good to me, I feel more confident now and I really look forward to going to work in Zen every Thursday."

Charlene worked with Case Officer, Clare Farrell, to design an individual programme based around her needs and aspirations to build confidence and independence. Following initial assessments an action plan was drawn up to address their personal barriers and agree solutions to meet her goals.

Lisa - Zen Day Spa commented

"During the past 20 months Zen Day Spa has become an award-winning spa in the heart of Newry community, with fabulous support received from our clients, we wanted to give something back to the community and decided to partner with The Cedar Foundation Inclusion Works programme for a trial placement.  It has exceeded all our expectations as our team have learned so much and are proud to witness Charlene develop and grow in confidence within her placement in Zen Day Spa. Charlene brings colour, positivity and passion every time she is here at Zen Day Spa, a true delightful member of the team. "

Charlene is still on the IW programme and continues to attend her placement in Zen Day Spa every Thursday morning and is thoroughly enjoying her role. 

Cedar’s Director of Employability & Community Inclusion, Elaine Armstrong, stated:

“We are delighted to be able to continue working with our partners in Health and Social Care, Local Councils, Employers and Training Providers to support people with disabilities to overcome the challenges they face to reach their potential and achieve significant goals of work and training.”

If you would like to find out more about Cedar’s Inclusion Works programme please visit our dedicated page. You can also follow us via social media on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.