During the Covid 19 Pandemic, we all faced tough situations with lockdowns, with our jobs and our mental health, not to mention our concern over our own health and the health of those we care about. But during that time there was also an abundance of little kindnesses to be found in all our communities, whether it was checking if the more vulnerable needed shopping, to just calling over a wall to a neighbour who lives alone for a chat. By and large, people rose to the occasion and inclusivity was part of our day.
Now that we are back to relative normality, we should strive to keep our minds open to inclusivity for our vulnerable in society. Our days have become busier with work, but the workplace is where we should start. Inclusive Pathways to Employment has spent the last year seeking work opportunities for our clients who have physical and mental difficulties. We have found placements for a number of our clients, but this is a marathon and the more companies that are open, the brighter Galway will be. Let’s make Galway a beacon, and an example of not just culture and art, but of kindness and opportunities for everyone.
Inclusive Pathways to Employment had a tricky start during lockdown. Companies were still trying to find their feet again and clients were nervous about meeting us. But after some hard work, we are helping and supporting thirty clients. Our clients come to us with depression, anxiety, Intellectual disabilities, Asperger’s, down syndrome (both visible and invisible difficulties) and physical difficulties. We provide CV support, job technique training, confidence building, safepass, support for further education, and equipment for the client. We apply for job vacancies for the client and support the companies with advice, training, follow-up reviews and any additional help they might need with grant applications.
(Below I would like to introduce you to the feedback I have collected from some of the managers and clients that we have placed)
Ground & Co Oranmore
Cathy joined our project, through ability west, at the start of the year and received job coaching and confidence building assistance as initially Cathy was very nervous engaging with the project and at the possibility of looking for employment.
After many interviews, personal training, and confidence building, we are delighted to have found Cathy the right placement. Ground & Co hired Cathy Burke at the end of October 2022 part-time and already she is fitting in and has become a valued member of the team.
Cathy enjoys getting stuck into her work as well as catching up with her colleagues. Cathy finds the environment a friendly and supportive place where she feels both valued and at home in the bustle.
Manager LisaAdvise to anyone not hiring diversly regarding people with disabilities“Give it a go, there is a learning curve and there is always a job for everyone to do. Cathy has fit right in here. She is a hard worker and is always smiling”
Client Cathy“The staff here are lovely. I enjoy the work. I would love to work more hours”
From left to right: Manger, Lisa Mongan & Client, Cathy Burke.
KFC Briarhill Galway
Lisa referred herself to the project early in the year and initially was extremly shy and nervous. With ongoing assistance in, Job coaching, confidence building, accompaniment to interviews and trial days, we finally got Lisa the opportunity she deserved.
Lisa started in KFC in September 2022 part-time. Initially Lisa was very nervous but after a couple of weeks she has settled in and now feels happy in her work and her hours. She works front of house and feels comfortable and safe with her colleagues.
Duty Manager Claudia: “Lisa is a very good worker, she is loving friendly, emotional and hard working.” Advise for employers not hiring diversly as regards disability from you’re your experience “Give them a chance, everyone deserves opportunities.”Would your company hire more people with disabilities in the future “Yes Definitely”.
Client Lisa“I enjoy my work. I get on well with my colleagues. I just take my own initiative for keeping things clean and tidy and get stuck in.”
From Left to right: Client Lisa Madden Duty & Manager, Claudia Simona Nicolae.
CityLink Galway 17 Foster Street
Conall was an internal referral through GCP. After an employment break, he was hoping to return to full-time work. With an updated cv, job coaching, training assistance with job applications we were delighted to find Conall the right fit for him.
Conall started full-time with Citylink Station in August 2022. He got thrown in the deep end on his first day and his manger David was delighted as he rose to the challenge and performed his work diligently. Conall has felt at home in his new job and gets on well with customers and staff alike.
Manager David “Conall picked up the job quickly in all his duties that we instructed him to do he is like a duck to water.”Advice you would give companies not hiring more diversly. “Don’t judge a CV at face value, Even an interview can go a long way in giving someone confidence. Give someone a chance.Would hire more staff with either visible or invisible disabilities.”
Client Conall “Citylink is aa great place to work, all of the people are friendly and very supportive of each other.” Advise for employers not hiring diversly “Try it and see, it might not work for everyone, but it certainly worked for me. If they’re being narrow in there selection process they are missing a huge range of talent.”
From Left to Right: Manager, David Keane & Client, Conall Lynch.
Mr Waffle, Newcastle Road
Paul came to our project in the summer through ability west. He was and is working one day a week in retail and wanted to gain more work and develop his skills with a new workplace.
Within the project he did training, CV development and job coaching. After many applications and some interviews, we were delighted to find Paul a position he’s very happy in. He started in Mr. Waffle last month and has already made himself at home, enjoying working and interacting with his colleagues and getting stuck into his duties.
Assistant Manager Jessica: “Paul has been hard-working and really sweet as well and fits in with the team great. Working with Paul has opened my eyes and made me more aware to build up the future.” Advice for Companies “Do it, it has helped our team and made us all better and more conscientious and it creates a better and more inclusive vibe for everyone.”
Client Paul:“My colleagues are lovely; I am enjoying my work.”
Left to right: Assistant Manager, Jessica Fahy & Client, Paul Cannon.
If you are an employer who would like to give an opportunity to our clients please contact Sharon Doyle Employer Liaison Officer: 085-2664333