Cedar Service Users Mastering Professional Cookery Skills

Cedar’s Inclusion Works service in Southern Health Trust area specialises in training participants with brain injury get ready for work. As part of this service they recently facilitated a cookery course delivered by local business woman, Aine Boyle from Aine’s kitchen. The Brain Injury Foundation also kindly allowed the use of their kitchen facilities. Everyone involved is set to gain OCR Employability Skills accreditation as a result of their participation.

This on-the-job training approach helps to develop skills for preparing healthy meals on a budget, but also puts into practice key employment skills for the catering industry. For example, planning & organising; problem solving; sequencing of tasks; attending regularly, punctually and maintaining health & safety standards. The final week of the course included a very competitive ‘Christmas Bake-off’ that saw the members having to use all of their time management & stress management skills!

To give the participants a feel for working in a real-life hotel environment the Canal Court Hotel, Newry, facilitated a coffee morning for the course graduates and their families. The management at the Canal Court took time to talk about employer expectations and listened to the experiences of people living with brain injury including the specific challenges jobseekers face and how employers or businesses could improve their interactions with people with disabilities.

The Cedar Foundation is celebrating its 75th Anniversary. It has been developing services that support children and adults to overcome disability barriers since 1941 to achieve our Vision of ‘An Inclusive Society for All’. The regional Inclusion Works service is funded by the European Social Fund and all 5 Health & Social Care Trusts in NI. The specialist staff team support people with physical disabilities, including brain injury, ASD and long-term health conditions that want to achieve employability & inclusion goals.