European Social Fund (ESF) case study - Ignite2

Ignite2, run by Orchardville, supports people with a learning disability to prepare for a job, learn new skills, grow as a person, try new things, meet people and become more independent. The project is part funded through the Northern Ireland European Social Fund 2014-2020 and the Department for the Economy.

Here, Orchardville tells us about one of their success stories.

Participant's story

If you have ever wondered what it would be like to have the perfect career, just ask this participant! When she was recently interviewed for a video about her job with a local hotel, she was asked, “What do you enjoy most about working here?” She paused, smiled and then replied, “Everything, I enjoy everything.”

She has always had a positive attitude and this was clear from the first time she was introduced to Orchardville while still at school. She had some barriers to overcome, a diagnosis of a mild learning disability, dyslexia and hearing problems, but she has a sunny disposition and quiet determination.

After school she went to college for a couple of years and then engaged with the Orchardville Ignite2 project. We offered her a bespoke approach, tailored to her needs. We recognised her barriers and offered ongoing support to overcome them.  We helped her to identify her interests and aptitudes and it quickly became clear that she had a passion for catering.

She accepted a work placement at Orchardville’s busy and award winning, Orchard Café to build her skills and confidence and also completed a recognised catering qualification.

External catering places were then sourced in a variety of local restaurants, including two days a week in the kitchen of a local hotel. This is where she excelled, quickly becoming an important part of the team. She is always punctual, reliable and enthusiastic. She learned the important core tasks of food preparation, presentation and service. All that hard work paid off and she achieved paid employment with the hotel.

This will probably not be the end of her story. She is ambitious and wants to develop her cooking skills still further. Orchardville will be there to support her all the way!

European Social Fund Northern Ireland logo containing text "European Union, European Social Fund, Northern Ireland"
European Social Fund Northern Ireland logo

Related articles

Back to top