Positive Directions

Clanrye Group Positive Directions is a European Social Fund programme offering training, employment and social enterprise opportunities for people with disabilities, aged 16-65 years old.

This disability support programme is available across Newry, Mourne & Down and Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon areas of Northern Ireland.

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This programme aims to support you in developing the necessary skills, experience and qualifications to progress to further education, training or employability programmes, employment or self-employment.

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Contact our team to confirm your eligibility for Positive Directions.

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What’s involved?

Positive Directions participants complete a variety of training, supported by a range of lifestyle activities aiming to promote positive health and well-being.

What training and qualifications can I receive?

  • ICT Entry Level 2 & 3
  • Customer Service
  • Retail
  • Stress Management
  • Employability Skills
  • Horticulture
  • Independent Living Skills

Get in touch

Contact our team to confirm your eligibility for Positive Directions.

Contact now

Case Studies

Cathal | Positive Directions

Cathal, 23 joined Clanrye Group, Positive Directions Programme, Mayfair Business Centre, April 2019.  His mum accompanied him on his initial visit. His mum explained that Cathal needed to know that he would receive a high level of support to learn and would be made feel welcome and cared for. He immediately felt that Clanrye Group could provide this. Cathal has advised that he was nervous at first when joining Clanrye, but very quickly was given plenty of warm welcomes.

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He transitioned gradually until he felt comfortable in his new surroundings and increased his attendance to two days per week. 

He stated, “Being there, I felt part of this community of well-rounded and likeable people who wanted to help not just myself, but all participants succeed in their desired careers.”

His aspirations were to gain employment preferably in the media industry and as he had already exhausted opportunities within this sector, he was prepared to move towards an administration role.  He had few friends and wished to have an improved social like. He was afforded the opportunity and was able to meet like-minded people.

Cathal explained, “Clanrye understood my autism and social difficulties and they would encourage me to join in and mingle with others and share my passion for film culture while listening to their passion and interests.”

With the high level of support from staff, his resilience and concentration improved. He began to believe in himself. He was delighted as he progressed through his qualifications and increasingly became competent in ICT skills.

Cathal received extensive employability support to apply for jobs and to participate in mock interviews. 

Cathal was successful and gained employment as an administrative assistant commencing 24 February 2020.  He was thrilled to have gained this position. He knew that he had the potential to progress within it.

He also gained EL3 and Level 1, Digital Employability qualification; ECDL Level 2 Extra/Core.

He has commented on the impact these qualifications have had on him and how they have been the catalyst to gain employment. 

Cathal advised that when he received the job,

 It was very surreal but I was just so excited and tremendously happy for receiving this new job, I felt that all the hard work I made over half a year really paid off in the end and I owe it to Clanrye for their commitment.”

In recognition of the unlimited support, provided to Cathal, his parents issued an email:

“A sincere thank you from all the Carson’s. We deeply appreciate the support that you have given Cathal. The support Cathal received which allowed him to gain his ECDL and the hours of interview preparation were only surpassed by the kindness, the belief in Cathal and all the encouragement he received when he was unsuccessful in an interview.

Cathal has an amazing ability to attract lovely people into his life and this was certainly borne out when he met you all in Clanrye.

Thank you so much for making such a difference to our son’s life.

The kindest of regards , Siobhan and Dominic”

Kathleen | Positive Directions

A graduate in English from the University of Ulster with a Certificate in Community Work from Queen’s University.

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For 14 years after leaving university Kathleen worked in a wide range of community development jobs in Northern Ireland, Republic of Ireland and England.  These included working with children and young people, disabled and deaf people, the traveller community, homeless people and generic community groups.

After undergoing breast cancer treatment Kathleen decided to refresh her office skills and undertake ICT qualifications and joined Clanrye Positive Directions in April 2015. 

What did you do before you joined Clanrye Positive Directions?

In 2010 I was diagnosed with breast cancer.  This was a major shock.  As a result, I had to give up work.  Then there was a long period of treatment including surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy.  During this time I was physically and psychologically drained.

What did you gain from the programme?

As a start to getting back into employment I joined an IT skills course in Clanrye Positive Directions. This included an ECDL qualification and a range of other work related IT skills. Part of this course was inclusion in a work placement.  My work placement was with LearnSpark.  Here I had the opportunity to put the new skills I received into practice.  I felt ready to go back to work on a part-time basis.

What are you doing now?

I secured a part-time job as a Learning Resource Assistant with the Southern Regional College where I continue to work today.

What did you find best about the programme?

Clanrye Positive Directions was an important step in enabling me to begin to work again.  Some of the things that I found particularly useful in this course was the opportunity to study with a wide variety of people from different backgrounds.  I also appreciated the individual support provided within the group context.  For example, when I was unable to attend some of the sessions I received personal tutoring to enable me to catch up.  The programme has not only been useful for me in my work and life but also the atmosphere created made it a very enjoyable experience for me.  

Sara | Positive Directions

Sara started training in November 2015.  She has a love for all things vintage and aspired to open up her own shop selling an array of vintage clothing and accessories.  The big attraction to Clanrye Positive Directions was the opportunity to gain formal qualification in retail and get involved in Social Enterprise Activities.  True to its word, Sara was exposed to and challenged by various Social Activities including Pop Up Stands at the Quays Shopping Centre, making wedding favours, preparing for a Bridal fashion show and much more.

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Alongside Sara worked in The Costume Corner and was involved in both aspects business namely the retail outlet and the theatrical hire company. Here Sara got to handle a wide range of vintage goods and together with Glenda and Kate they would prepare orders for various stage shows, coordinate with schools, drama groups for dispatch and manage returns.  In the retail side of the business Sara assisted customers with purchases and operated the till processing cash and card payments.  Determined to not let any opportunity pass her by Sara kept herself busy.  All her hard work paid off and ahead of schedule she achieved NVQ Level 2 Retail Skills. Feeling more job ready Sara secured employment with Poundland as a Retail Assistant.  She was thrilled.  Working now part time with Poundland she didn’t give up her dream to open up her own vintage business and her spare time is dedicated to her other business start-up ‘The Blue Cat Fish’  She says “it will take time to grow this business, but all trees start from small acorns.”

What did you do before you joined Clanrye Positive Directions?

I had to give up work at the age of 19 due to a deteriorating condition.  I never thought I’d study or work again and my motivation was on the floor.  

What did you gain from the programme?

Clanrye gave me the motivation and confidence to study and get a work placement.  I was helped to create a CV which in turn helped me gain employment.  They encouraged me to start my own stall which is great experience and will help me on my way to start my own business venture.

What are you doing now?

I am working part time in Poundland and have my own vintage business called ‘The Blue Cat Fish’.

What did you find best about the programme?

Clanrye was great because they understood me and was empathetic and flexible. I have made some great friends. Clanrye really helped me get back on track and showed me that it is possible to have a positive future despite having a chronic illness.   

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Speak to our team about our Positive Directions programme today