New ‘Ability’ programme to support young people with disabilities

West Cork Development Partnership will launch its new ‘Ability’ programme on Wednesday, February 13 in Fernhill House Hotel, Clonakilty at 5.30pm. Funding has been granted to 27 organisations around Ireland in order to support young people between the ages of 15-29 years of age with disabilities and is designed to assist in their transition from school to further education, training and employment. A new initiative, the programme is co-financed by the Irish Government and European Social Fund as part of the ESF Programme for Employability, Inclusion and Learning 2014- 2020.

While all Ability programmes have the same ethos, West Cork Development Partnership has identified a target group of young people aged between 19-29 years of age that may be living with a mental health condition in the West Cork region.

For many reasons, young people are faced with challenges that can sometimes prevent them from moving forward in their lives. The Ability team aim to support, build skills and empower participants so that they may eventually take part in social activities such as accessing transportation, education, voluntary work or even employment. Through person-centred planning and one-to-one support, it is hoped that participants will gain the confidence and skills needed in order to access opportunities that they may otherwise find difficult to attain.

A specialised team consisting of two personal development officers, an occupational therapist and a youth engagement officer will work with participants to bring them closer to their goals. The Ability team will also work with employers in order to empower them to support employees with mental health difficulties, as well as create an awareness of issues that may arise within the workplace. The team will collaborate with regional HSE mental health services, educational bodies, rural support services and relevant community organisations.

Expressions of interest are now being taken in the programme and registration forms can be accessed via the website:

The launch will be attended by Minister for Disabilities, Finian McGrath TD, as well as the HSE mental health services, educational bodies, disability services, employment supports and other relevant agencies. Members of the community thst may know someone who would benefit from joining this programme are very welcome to come along to the launch in Fernhill House Hotel. For further enquiries please contact the Ability team on or please ring 023 8834035. Online invitations can be found at:

WCP Staff

WCP Staff Writer

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