2021 ESF case study - Cedar Foundation - Inclusion Works

The Cedar Foundation’s Inclusion Works supports adults with disabilities who are keen to build employability skills and experience to be work ready, then moving into a paid job, college course or volunteering on leaving. Specialist physical disability, Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and brain injury support is available and tailored to each individual and their needs.

The project is part funded through the Northern Ireland European Social Fund Programme 2014-2020 and the Department for the Economy.

Participant's story

This case study tells the story of a participant who was referred to the programme by a social worker within the local stroke healthcare team.

Having suffered a stroke in 2017, this participant was no longer able to work at the job he had previously held. His main aim was to find out what he would like to do with his life now.

The participant describes his first experience of coming to the Cedar building as an eye opener as he had nearly been injured by a car before arriving. He did not think of himself as having a ‘disability’ and had expected to be able to cross the road as quickly as he previously could. This was an obstacle in itself for the participant as he was still trying to live life the way he had done prior to his stroke which had left him with significant mobility issues. He attended the ‘Personal Effectiveness after Brain Injury’ training and stated that this gave him not only insight and understanding of his acquired brain injury, but also practical strategies that he can and does use on a daily basis.

Work placement

The participant commenced a work placement assisting with a local stroke support group. He reported an increase in confidence and really enjoyed helping others. Feedback from the group included statements such as “he is an asset to our group, always helping out when he can and the clients love him”. This placement has turned into an official voluntary role for the participant, one that he continues to do to the present day.


The participant has gone on to volunteer with the Cedar Foundation assisting with the ‘Personal Effectiveness after Brain Injury’ training. His volunteer supervisor for this states that the participant is kind, conscientious and reliable. There is no greater motivation for the participants in the group than to hear directly from a previous service user, how he is actually using the strategies learned and how there is light at the end of the tunnel.

The participant has also participated in an external project which aims to improve voice recognition technology for people who have non-standard (‘dysarthric’) speech. He is half way through this and making excellent progress.

The participant plans to continue volunteering with both the local stroke group and the Cedar Foundation. He has become a valuable member of both organisations.

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