2021 ESF Case Study - Customized Training Services - Community Family Support Programme 1

The Community Family Support Programme (CFSP), delivered by Customized Training Services, is aimed at people aged 16 to 64 who are not in education, training, or working more than 16 hours per week, with personal barriers impacting on their ability to find or sustain employment, education or training.

The purpose of the project

The project supports participants to address health, social and economic needs which are preventing them from finding or succeeding in education, training or employment. Support is tailored to specific needs, strengthening support from family members, friends and other services. CFSP empowers participants to improve motivation, confidence and skills to make positive life changes.

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

Participant's story

In this case study a participant describes the support and guidance provided while she was on the programme:

“I joined CFSP as a Carer with an academic background looking to develop my skills in the working world, being motivated to do so, but with little to no support to turn to and very little confidence in my abilities. CFSP listened to my every concern and provided me with vital information and resources to help me make my way forwards when I couldn’t possibly have done it on my own. They supported and guided me through all manner of challenges and issues that confronted me, personal, social and work-related.”

The participant had access to crucial resources which included courses like Living Life to the Full provided by Aware NI, Healthy Living which was led by CFSP and delivered through Zoom, as well as Progression to Employment led by a facilitator. Careers advice and guidance also provided by the facilitator, was tailored to the participant’s own personal skills and abilities, with due regard for her background and individual experiences.

Excellent standard of support

The participant says,

“I’m in a constant state of disbelief at the excellent standard of support compared to other employment services I have encountered.”

The participant also acknowledged the support she received from her family mentor:

“From the beginning she has supported me in navigating difficult family tensions, carefully helping resolve them which was essential for me to make the first step towards building strong connections outside the family environment. In navigating complex working relationships, it has been a godsend to have my family mentor’s continued support, to work to contribute to the inclusive social reality we live in, and to feel accepted.”

The participant sums up her experience of the programme: 

“So far, I have gone from strength to strength building confidence in the world of retail, securing enjoyable and fulfilling work in managerial roles, having previously thought retail to be completely outside my skillset. I could go on endlessly about everything positive happening for me, so I’ll just say I am eternally grateful, CFSP.”

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