People are at the centre of all we do at COPE

Cope Foundation supports 2,800 children and adults in 70 locations across Cork. SEAN ABBOTT, Chief Executive of Cope Foundation, tells us more ahead of a major recruitment day
People are at the centre of all we do at COPE

Daragh Forde, Job Coach with Cope Foundation’s Ability@Work Programme, Sean Abbott, Chief Executive of Cope Foundation and Kate Prendeville, staff nurse at Cope Foundation launching Cope Foundation’s Recruitment Open Day which takes place on Wednesday the 6th April from 2pm to 8pm in the Metropole Hotel. Picture: Darragh Kane

COPE Foundation is one of the largest disability organisations in Ireland. We work with over 2,800 children and adults with an intellectual disability and/or autism across Cork city and county. Our team is made up of 1,200 colleagues and staff who provide a broad range of person-centred services and support.

We’ve launched a recruitment drive to fill a variety of roles across a range of departments and will be holding a Recruitment Open Day this Wednesday, April 6. The event at the Metropole Hotel runs from 2pm to 8pm and is the perfect opportunity to meet the Cope Foundation team to discuss potential career opportunities.

This could be the start of a new and extremely rewarding career. 

We’re looking for open minded people who want to support people with an intellectual disability and/or autism achieve independence and to help them to live the lives of their choosing.

I consider myself lucky to have worked with Cope Foundation for over 40 years. I started as a care assistant in the PE Department which is now the Physical Activities and Sports Department. I qualified as a nurse and graduated through a number of roles in the organisation. In 2016, I was honoured to be appointed as Chief Executive. I’ve had a fantastic career thanks to the people I have worked with during that time. I’ve developed fantastic relationships and friendships with families, the people we support and colleagues.

People are at the centre of everything we do at Cope Foundation. We support adults and children across our growing network of over 70 locations in Cork helping them to achieve independence and live life their way. We are lucky to have a dedicated team of nursing, support, health and social care professionals, and administrative staff who are all working to improve the lives of the people we support.

There are wonderful opportunities to progress at Cope Foundation. 

Many colleagues, like myself, started as care assistants before advancing through the organisation. It is an extremely rewarding job, especially when you see the people we support thriving and reaching their own individual goals.

Like every organisation, the last two years have been challenging for Cope Foundation. I believe that in extraordinary times, we need extraordinary people and we’re lucky to have so many in our organisation. Every day, I have been inspired by how they have adapted to the challenges and worked to keep the people we support, their families and each other safe.

Cope Foundation has been part of the Cork community for over 60 years. It has evolved and changed over the years and we’re in the midst of another journey of transformation to give the people we support more power and control over their lives.

We’re guided by the United Nations Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities. The right to an ordinary life, participating as equal citizens in our community is particularly important. We are committed to speaking up and continuing the conversation around rights and equalities for people with disabilities and/or autism and hope to attract new team members who share those values.

Cope Foundation is a section 38 organisation funded by the HSE. Some of the benefits of working with the organisation include membership of the Single Public Service Pension Scheme; paid maternity/paternity leave and sick leave paid in line with the public sector sick pay scheme. We provide permanent and temporary roles with full-time, part-time, job sharing and flexible options available.

In recent years, we have opened Community Hubs in Midleton, the city centre, Cobh, Ballyvolane and Blackrock. New hubs are being finalised for Macroom, Ballincollig and Douglas. The Hubs are entirely person-centred. Each person can set out their life goals or starting goals. The aim is to build confidence, develop skills and to get the person to where they want to be whether that’s being able to cook their own meals, working in the community or attending a college course.

Our Ability@Work programme provides work preparation training and employment opportunities for young people aged 18-29 with intellectual disabilities and/or autism. 

It is co-financed by the Irish Government and the European Social Fund as part of the ESF Programme for Employability, Inclusion and Learning 2014-2020. The programme promotes inclusive workplaces by encouraging Cork employers to open their doors and include everyone.

The Community Hubs and Ability@Work are just two examples of programmes within Cope Foundation that are actively changing lives for the better and you could be part of that work. If you’d like to find out more about the work we do in Cope Foundation, come and meet some of our team at the Metropole Hotel this Wednesday, April 6th. We would love to talk to you about working with us.

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