Niall was referred to the Cedar Foundation in 2001 by the Community Brain jury Injury Team after undergoing therapy following a ruptured Aneurysm in May 2000.  He progressed through a range of the Cedar Foundation’s services, initially with Inclusion Works, leading to various internet courses and then placements with the National Trust and his local Credit Union.  After a while his confidence started to build, and he was motivated to keep progressing.  Niall stated

“I was keen to advance my way back to some sort of normality”.

He continued developing his IT skills and undertook a number of courses within Cedar’s Training Services at the Balmoral site.

In 2003 Niall was introduced to Cedar’s User Forum at the AGM when he expressed an interest in joining.  After being selected he completed some capacity training, and he was elected as chairperson for a term of three years. Niall explains

“I grabbed the bull by the horns and threw myself into this role. We as service users had been given a voice, advising local councils and government departments on disability issues”.

It was also really satisfying for Niall to be involved in the process of gaining ‘Investor in people’ recognition and a NI Quality Award in 2005.

At this stage Niall was ready to take on paid employment and was fully supported by Cedar’s Workable (NI), Supported Employment Services (SES) to commence a role within SPAR. 

In 2008 he became a project Administrator within Cedar’s ATLAS Project for an 18-month contract. Niall moved on to further full-time employment again in 2009 within Contact Centres.  Niall commented

“Every time I moved to a new role Cedar’s SES followed me helping me with job searches and moral support. Geraldine and Angela from the SES team have been fantastic, and I contact them if I have exhausted my own capabilities and I require their assistance, for addressing the mountains rather than the molehills!” 

Under Workable (NI), Niall receives one-to-one support to help him cope with the stress of managing his disability at work. His Workable (NI) Officer is in contact regularly and liaises closely with his employer to help him identify suitable adjustments to his job role.  Niall has availed of Workable (NI) services three times, and during each period the support has been tailored to his needs at that moment in time.

After Niall’s constant twenty-year relationship with Cedar and support from Workable (NI), he has achieved an incredible amount with sheer determination and he is now in full-time employment within Capita (PIP) as a ‘Real Time Analyst’ which is a mid-management job. 

In conclusion Niall commented 

“I am truly thankful to Cedar and the team at Workable NI for always being there for me.”

The Workable (NI) Programme is funded by the Department for Communities

For further information about the Supported Employment Solutions Service (Workable NI) visit

Supported Employment Solutions, Workable NI Programme partnership is made up of seven disability organisations from across Northern Ireland who have come together to deliver the Workable (NI) Programme across the Region.SES aims to offer a Supported Employment approach in the delivery of programmes to assist people with disabilities and health conditions to enter and stay in employment.