2022 ESF case study - Upper Springfield Development Trust/GEMS NI - Family First Belfast 1

The Community Family Support Programme, Family First Belfast, delivered by the Upper Springfield Development Trust (USDT), is an employability programme focusing on the family unit and is aimed at families with a person aged 16 or over who is not in employment, education or training.

The project works with families to make positive and meaningful changes to improve their lives. Supported by dedicated family support workers, needs-based interventions and programmes are offered to families who are ready to make positive changes.

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

Participant's story

USDT tells the story of a participant who needed support with looking for work. 

The participant wanted to find employment in the childcare sector but required work to fit around their own childcare needs. They also sought support, over time, in addressing family barriers to employment which had become apparent to the participant whilst on the programme. These barriers related to their children’s needs due to health and medical issues, providing caring responsibilities for another family member and their own health.

Job search and CV support

In respect of employability, the participant received support to create a CV which reflected their desire to work in the childcare sector and included details of voluntary experience which they had gained. USDT completed sessions with the participant which demonstrated how to use various job search websites, provided support in completing application forms and also support with interview preparation.

USDT advised the participant of a number of organisations that could provide support in relation to the family’s health issues and barriers to employment. This resulted in the participant attending an accredited training course with one of these organisations. In addition, the participant received practical support in the approach to Christmas, and was also provided with potential solutions which would make home life easier and ensure they had some time to themselves.

Completing a childcare qualification

As a result of participating on the programme, the participant enrolled and completed a childcare qualification, and also volunteered in a childcare setting in order to gain experience in the sector and a reference from a recognised childcare provider.

After some time, the participant found roles that they could apply for that fitted around their childcare and lifestyle needs. They applied for, and were successful in gaining, employment in a childcare setting.

In relation to the programme, the participant says,

“You have helped me in many ways. I feel I wouldn’t be where I am today without all of your help. Between helping write my CV, support on interviews and just being there generally for support with everything I had going on in my life, helped so much. Thanks again for all your help and support”.

Romanian translation

A Romanian translation of this case study is available at: 

Back to top