The Cedar Foundation is an organisation based in Northern Ireland that supports people living with disability, autism & brain injury (https://www.cedar-foundation.org/). It has two Karten CTEC Centres, one based in Belfast and the other in Ballymena.
As part of its Inclusion Works programme Cedar provides person centred assessment, training and support to adults to enable their full participation in society. The following outlines one of Cedar’s participant’s experience on her journey…
Rebekah is one of Cedar’s Inclusion Works participants who has received training in The Cedar Foundation’s Belfast, Karten CTEC Centre. After initial assessment for Assistive Technology and IT Support Rebekah participated in work the placement with Cedar’s Communications Team. This enabled Rebekah to raise awareness of ABI & relate her ongoing story of recovery through social media and her online blog. This is Rebekah’s story…
“My name is Rebekah and I am 28 years old. When I was 24, I had a car accident when I was going to my horse-riding lesson. The accident left me with an Acquired Brain Injury which affects the left-hand side of my body. I was in a coma for 4 months in the Royal Victoria Hospital and in January 2017 I was transferred to the Regional Acquired Brain Injury Unit (RABIU) in Musgrave Park Hospital. While at RABIU I underwent assessment and rehabilitation and was discharged September 2017.
I came out feeling broken and had no confidence – unsure of who I was, the left side of my body wasn’t working, and I felt angry and frustrated! I have always had the support of my fiancé and family which has been irreplaceable.
In November 2018, my Occupational Therapist from the Community Brain Injury Team (CBIT) referred me to the Cedar Foundation’s Inclusion Works Service Belfast (IWB). I had previously heard good reports about the Cedar Foundation from a good friend whose son had attended there as a service user.
I started on the IWB Programme in January 2019. I was introduced to my Case Officer, Helen Savage, who has been very supportive and attentive. When I started Cedar, I was unsure what I would like to do. Initially I met with Helen weekly, we discussed my goals and ways to help me build my confidence and stamina. Prior to my accident I was extremely independent and worked full-time.
I started attending ICT classes in Cedar’s Karten CTEC Suite. I found this very beneficial as I write a blog about my experience of living with a Brain Injury. Joe Cash (IT Tutor) supported me with online social media and exploring assistive technology options. I was also provided with support to try out online courses. This enabled me to explore remote learning options and helped me to refresh my previous learning.
Prior to my accident I had achieved a 1st Class Honours degree in Communication and Public Relations. As a result, Helen set up a work placement with Cedar’s Communications Team. I thoroughly enjoyed this placement and felt I had taken the first step to looking at work since my accident. I helped with updating Cedar’s Facebook and Twitter page. These
opportunities helped to build on my self-confidence, resilience and communication skills.
I hope my placement will resume soon – after Covid-19! In the meantime I will continue to focus on my hobbies (Art and Cooking) and update my daily blog – https://rebroken.blog/. Please check my blog out.
Meeting the Cedar team has been a great experience and they have been very supportive, helping me to improve my confidence, especially in exploring my workplace options in the future :-) “.
For further information on The Cedar Foundation Inclusion Work’s program click on the following link… https://www.cedar-foundation.org/Pages/Category/training-and-employment
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