Taoiseach Micheál Martin and Lord Mayor of Cork, Joe Kavanagh have officially launched the Hands of Hope initiative between Trigon Hotels and Cope Foundation.
Trigon Hotels has partnered with Cope Foundation and our Ability@Work programme to launch the ‘Hands of Hope’ initiative. It was launched by Taoiseach Micheál Martin and Lord Mayor of Cork Joe Kavanagh to encourage diversity, inclusion and equality in the workplace.
Team members from Trigon Hotels, Cope Foundation and Ability@Work came together and placed their hand prints on the wall which symbolises the uniting of communities. As people pass the wall, which is on Harley Street, they will be reminded of how resilient and courageous we have all been over the past year.
Trigon Hotels is one of Cope Foundation’s corporate partners and the hotel group is especially focused on working with Cope Foundation to develop and promote inclusive work practices.
Taoiseach Micheál Martin said: “This is a fantastic initiative and a positive symbol of hope for the city. Trigon Hotels’ partnership with Cope Foundation and Ability@Work Cork is so important in providing people with intellectual disabilities and autism valuable life skills and employment opportunities.Covid-19 has brought significant challenges to all of our lives, but it is wonderful to see these organisations working together to make a real difference to so many”.
Ability@Work is part of Cope Foundation, and is a programme that provides work preparation training and employment opportunities for people with intellectual disabilities or autism. It promotes inclusive workplaces by encouraging Cork employers to open their doors and include everyone.
Emer Crowley and Craig Kelly are participants of the Ability@Work programme and both attended the launch event with the Taoiseach Micheál Martin and Lord Mayor of Cork, Joe Kavanagh. Emer works with Trigon Hotels and says: “Having a job has made my life better. I am a happier person because I am just like everyone else. The staff in the hotel really make me feel part of the team. Ability@Work helped me get this job. My job coach helped me to settle in and learn all the tasks. My family are really proud of me.”
Craig Kelly says “It is important that everyone has equal rights in employment. People with different abilities should not be discriminated against when they want to work. Programmes like Ability@Work are essential for people like me to get a job.”
Aaron Mansworth, Managing Director of Trigon Hotels said: “Two years ago Trigon Hotels embarked on a journey to ensure employment opportunities were accessible to all regardless of different abilities. We are very proud of our collaboration with Cope Foundation as it allows us to create job opportunities for people supported by Cope Foundation. We look forward to working with the organization on much needed fundraising and awareness raising initiatives. The partnership shares a vision for a more inclusive Cork and will continue to fund exciting projects that support people to live life their way and continue to support a more inclusive workplace.”
Pat McDonnell Paints kindly sponsored the paint for the event and Cork artist, Kevin O’Brien, who is co-founder of Mad About Cork, generously gave his time to do the design and paint work.
Ability@Work is part of the national Ability programme co- financed by the Irish Government and the European Social Fund as part of the ESF Programme for Employability, Inclusion and Learning 2014-2020.
Image credit: Brian Lougheed