Cope Foundation team up with Trigon Hotel Group to create jobs for people with intellectual disabilities

31 May 2021
By Mary Bermingham

Taoiseach Micheál Martin and Lord Mayor of Cork mark the launch of the initiative between Trigon Hotels and Cope Foundation

Trigon Hotels has partnered with Cope Foundation and its 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. They are hoping that as people pass the wall on Harley Street they will be reminded of how resilient and courageous they have been over the past year and will continue to be hopeful for the future.

Trigon Hotels has been running a partnership with Cope Foundation and its Ability@Work programme over the last year. 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.

It was launched by Taoiseach Micheál Martin and Lord Mayor of Cork, Cllr. Joe Kavanagh accompanied by his wife Stephanie to encourage diversity, inclusion and equality in the workplace. Also included are Emer Crowley of Ability@Work and Craig Kelly, also Ability@Work, President of Ability Board Advocacy Group.
Pic: Brian Lougheed

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”.

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.”

Kathleen Linehan, Strategic Director of HR:

“We have worked hard over the past year to develop strategies to attract and retain diverse new talent. Reviewing recruitment practices that open networks to candidates from a broader diverse pool and have hired four people from Ability@Work, facilitated seven job placements and have further plans to expand opportunities in the coming year. The idea for the ‘Hands Of Hope’ initiative was based around Trigon Hotels looking forward to our future together featuring three words ‘Hope, Resilience and Courage’. These three words highlight inclusivity and diversity in our hotels and the increasing need to make diversity, inclusion and equity in the workplace a priority.”

Emer Crowley works with Trigon Hotels and Emer and Craig are participants of the Ability@Work programme.

Emer Crowley:

“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:

“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.”

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.

In January 2021 Trigon Hotels announced that they were planning to raise funds for the one charity and officially partnered with Cope Foundation.

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