One of Northern Ireland’s leading Social Enterprises that specialises in finding employment for people with disabilities or long-term health conditions has opened two new cafes, creating up to 20 new jobs and training opportunities.
Ulster Supported Employment Ltd (Usel) last month launched the Ability Café at the new Acute Mental Health Inpatient Centre in Belfast City Hospital and this month opened the Ability at the Drawbridge Café at the Ecos Centre in Ballymena.
Usel CEO Bill Atkinson said: “It is very exciting to be working in partnership with the Belfast Health Trust at the Belfast City Hospital site. This is our second café in partnership with the trust and we are delighted to see this relationship strengthen and grow. As well as running the café it will be a safe training environment for people who have faced mental health issues and are ready to return to work through supported employment.”
The café at the Ecos Centre in Ballymena will provide employment for people with a range of disabilities. Usel will be working alongside Mid and East Antrim Council and Catalyst Inc which has taken over the running of the building and which has undergone a £1.6m renovation and refurbishment.
Mr Atkinson added: “This café was closed for a number of years, so it is great to be part of the rejuvenation of the site alongside the work of Catalyst Inc. We look forward to providing employment for people within the local community, particularly those with a disability or health condition. We aim to provide a first-class bistro style services for people using the nature park from families with young children to dog walkers. We will have something for everyone!!”
Usel works in partnership with 150 organisations to provide support to get people back into employment, operating a range of training programmes that assists people with disabilities to gain the qualifications and skills required for sustainable employment.
Last year the company successfully found sustainable employment for more than 900 people.