2020 ESF case study: Ulster Supported Employment Ltd - STRIDE

After a period of illness which meant this participant had to leave work, he is back in employment having received support through the STRIDE project delivered by Ulster Supported Employment Ltd (USEL). The project is part funded through the Northern Ireland European Social Fund 2014-2020 and the Department for the Economy.

STRIDE assists people over the age of 16 living with a disability or health condition who are unemployed or economically inactive and require support to get and sustain paid work.

Too ill to work

This participant was a qualified chef and had been working locally for several years. He lives with a condition which affects his co-ordination and speech. This had a negative impact on his confidence and overall mental wellbeing. He had been able to sustain his job until circumstances resulted in him becoming too ill to work, which led to him leaving his position to concentrate on his recovery. After seeking support from another organisation the participant was signposted to USEL.

Gaining confidence

He enrolled onto USEL’s STRIDE project and has been supported by an Employment Services Officer to explore both training and employment opportunities. He started a pre-employment training course which concentrated on his interview skills. He successfully completed this training and gained new confidence in this area, which was soon to be rewarded as an opportunity arose for him to take part in a work trial at a Social Enterprise café. Here, the participant would be able to use his catering skills in a supportive and practical environment.

Offered paid employment

After only a week, he had displayed a positive attitude and proven his ability and skills, and was offered paid employment within the café. His Job Skills Coach described him as “an asset to the café” adding that “his chef skills have proven valuable to the whole team”.

The participant has also been able to showcase his skills by adding his various creations to the daily specials menu.

He says,

“My confidence has really improved, and I am enjoying the structure of a working week again”.

Polish translation

This case study is available in a Polish translation at:

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