The project is part funded through the Northern Ireland European Social Fund Programme 2014-2020 and the Department for the Economy.
Here, the participant tells their story:
"My journey started over a year ago when I was advised to join the Disability Action Job Match program by my work coach at my local Jobs and Benefits Office. I agreed and started working with the best employment officers I could possibly wish for. At the time I started, I was in a dark place, experiencing levels of being down and high anxiety. It got to a stage that I refused to put down on application forms my health condition because I felt I wasn’t being selected because of it.
While working with the employment officer, my confidence began to get a lot better, I started to believe in myself again and most importantly in my own abilities."
The participant continues:
"One of my favourite parts of the program was ‘Meet the Employer’ days, carried out over Microsoft Teams and Zoom, which gave me the opportunity to talk to employers. I took part in a ‘meet the employer’ day where I had the chance to speak to the HR manager of a local company. It was a very good discussion, and I was asked to forward my CV.
"A few weeks later, I received a call from my employment officer to see if I would be interested in an administrative position work trial at one of their branches. This was to help me get familiar with their systems and to see how I would get on and if I was the right person for the company as well. I agreed to this proposal and within a couple of weeks, I was offered an admin position for 16 hours per week.
After a month of being in the paid job, my hours were increased to 20 hours per week. This new opportunity has increased my confidence, self-esteem and is getting me out again meeting new people."
The participant concludes:
"I have to thank my Employment Officer for the support, help and encouragement while on the program. This would never have happened if it wasn’t for her, so thank you so so much!!
The program also has been excellent - help and support was always there when needed. I would 100% encourage anyone with a disability or anyone who feels disadvantaged from getting employment to join this program – Job Match, Disability Action."
A Dutch translation of this case study is available: