Liz shares her experience for ‘Spotlight on Inclusion Works’ in her own words

“I was interviewed for the post on a cold day in March 2020, and was delighted to be offered the job 2 days later.  At that time there was no serious thought of Covid–19 affecting life in N Ireland. After 2 days in Scotland the following week I returned to a seemingly different place – everything seemed to be taking a different turn: travel, work, holidays, food shopping, family life, school and university, and visiting relatives local and not so local!

I signed my contract and had a phone call from Kieran Molloy, the Head of Service, to advise that I might have to do some kind of virtual Induction, until the Easter Holidays …. and here I am…. 3 months after that interview.

My working life has changed with lots of phone calls at home with my laptop and coffee to hand.  

Zoom, Microsoft Teams, WhatsApp and Google Duo and Skype and email becoming the new ways to say “Hello how are You?”.  ‘Signable’ has replaced the old way of calling with someone to sign off a document.  Information Management Systems have replaced looking for something in a filing cabinet.

Everyone at Inclusion works has been so helpful and it has been great to ‘meet’ my team every Wednesday for Coffee and every Thursday for the team update. I have felt very welcomed and I also have been able to learn so much about Inclusion Works and the referred service users. I have even learned the knack of waving to everyone at the end of a team meeting. 

Thanks to Michael Blair, my Manager, I have been given a workload and I've been introducing myself, over the phone, to people to find out their story; and to support them as they navigate their way through the associated consequences of lockdown.

Having worked in Right 4 U previously, I had some knowledge of Cedar Systems and Policies and the ongoing work I do in SES, ‘Training for Success’ compliments my days at Inclusion Works.

I have had time to upskill in areas and I've gained a greater understanding of the issues associated with MS and Strokes. I've attended webinars in aspects of stress and coping methods for people with Autism hosted by Middleton.  There has also been mental health training by the Open University and Social Care TV.  

I've found the resources and links provided by the team really helpful to support individuals and thanks to everyone who has shared these. The systems for sharing information and support have been great.

So far I've supported people to; manage anxiety, do a monthly happiness challenge, explore kindness during mental health week, consider social distancing, how to stay healthy and well and I've tentatively started to support individuals with enrolment and engagement forms.

"So here am I in sunny June in my garden writing this report..... I never would have imagined. Thanks to all the team and the participants and I hope to ‘meet’ everyone sometime soon”.


This project is part funded through the Northern Ireland European Social Fund Programme 2014 – 2020 and the Department for the Economy. Funding is also provided by the Department for Communities and all five local HSCTs in Northern Ireland.