Cedar was delighted to welcome Robin Swann, Minister of Health to our Ballymena Training & Resource Centre. During the visit he met with service users and staff to find out more about Cedar’s work and impact in in Northern Trust area and across Northern Ireland. The visit was hosted by Cedar’s CEO, Elaine Armstrong.

The Minister was able to see at first hand the range of Cedar services which support individuals and families living with disability, autism and brain injury to live the lives they choose. A group of participants shared their personal experiences of Cedar’s Inclusion Works service and the vital role this plays in supporting their employability and inclusion. This ESF-funded service is delivered in partnership with The HSC Trusts who are the main referral source into the service.
Positive discussions took place on the future of service delivery as well as key challenges, based on meeting the needs of disabled people aligned with the draft Priorities for Government. This is reflected in Cedars Strategic Plan, in particular to improve the life opportunities of people with disability by working towards our Vision of ‘an Inclusive Society for All’.

Health Minister Robin Swann said:

“I was grateful for the opportunity to visit Cedar’s Training & Resource Centre in Ballymena and hear first-hand the positive impact that the organisation’s services have on individuals living with disability, autism or brain injury.

Speaking with those using the services it was very clear to me that Cedar is enabling people to truly live the lives that they choose. I also want to commend the organisation on their response to the pandemic. Cedar adapted quickly and reshaped to ensure that their much valued range of services continued throughout the two years.”

Image shows Health Minister Robin Swann with Elaine Armstrong CEO and Kieran Molloy Head of Employability. Second image shows Robin saw watching service user and Cedar representative working together. Final image shows Elaine Armstrong talking with Robin Swann and conference desk.

Elaine Armstrong (CEO, The Cedar Foundation) added:

"We were delighted to show the positive impact Cedar services are having to build choice, opportunity and inclusion for people with disabilities, and to highlight the partnership working within Health & Social Care as we navigate a time of significant challenge and change for our sector. Our services provide solutions to the needs of some of the most vulnerable people in our society and we need to work hard together to sustain these going forward."

Ronnie Browne (Service User) said:

It was great to meet with the Minister and to have the opportunity to share my experience of the support I have received from the Cedar Foundation. This has made a massive impact on my life and given me the encouragement, confidence and skills to get back into employment.