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  • Northside East

Raheny-based charity Blossom participates in workplace tour

Saturday, 4th May, 2019 7:00pm
Raheny-based charity Blossom participates in workplace tour

Young people from Blossom Ireland pictured during their visit to AIB Raheny to experience the world of work. PHOTO: ANNA WICKHAM

Raheny-based charity Blossom participates in workplace tour

Young people from Blossom Ireland pictured during their visit to AIB Raheny to experience the world of work. PHOTO: ANNA WICKHAM

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A GROUP of young people from a Northside-based charity that supports young people with intellectual disabilities to become independent visited AIB Raheny to experience the world of work.   

The teens, aged 16-18, were taking part in Blossom Ireland’s Teen Development Programme.

During the workplace tour, the group got ‘hands on’ experience of how they can use a bank including how to open a bank account and use an ATM.

Speaking about the tour, Fiona Freyne, Branch Manager at AIB Raheny, said: “At AIB, we try to become involved with local charities and make a positive contribution to the local community. 

“That’s why we were delighted to host a workplace tour with the young people from the Blossom Ireland Teen Development Programme. 

“Two members of our team, Noel Thomas and Emma Canning, worked together with Blossom Ireland to create an educational and fun schedule for the group. 

“We demonstrated how to use the bank but more importantly, we gave them an insight into the world of work. 

“The visit also gave us all a much greater insight and understanding into intellectual disability; the young people we met had so much potential to be active in the community and to work.”

Auveen Bell, co-founder and chief executive of Blossom Ireland, based in Raheny, commended the team at AIB for their genuine interest in the programme. 

“The team at AIB Raheny couldn’t do enough for us,” said Ms Bell. 

“They tailored the visit to what our group needed and even opened the branch to us on a Saturday. 

“At Blossom Ireland, we are passionate about ensuring that our young people are as prepared as possible for life as an adult. That includes preparing them for the world of work. 

“We can see that they have their own passions and interests and would be a valuable asset to the workforce.”

The Teen Development Programme is a relatively new initiative for Blossom Ireland. As well as workplace tours, the practical education programme teaches everyday life skills like using public transport, ordering food in a café, budgeting and searching for a job.

The programme marks a change in focus for Blossom Ireland from providing seasonal camps to providing a structured support service for young people with intellectual disabilities, focused on building their life skills.

Speaking about the new programme and the change of focus for the charity, Ms Bell said: “The families and young people with whom we work are at the centre of everything we do. 

“It is vital that the services that we provide with our limited resources meet their needs. 

“When we listened to the families with whom we work during a consultation in 2018, we learned that what was needed – far more than seasonal camps – was a structured skills programme to help young people with intellectual disability prepare for life after school.”

Blossom Ireland was established in 2010 by local women Auveen Bell and Orla Crowe.

Blossom Ireland Teen Development Programme participant Ailbhe is pictured with AIB staff member Noel Thomas during the workplace tour at AIB Raheny. PHOTO: ANNA WICKHAM

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