When Clonmany woman Rose McGuigan tried to get into the workforce after taking sometime out to have children of her she found it very difficult to get something suitable.

Times had changed in the years she had spent at home with her son and daughter and her previously qualifications in children and experience were no longer deemed relevant.

It wasn’t until she saw an advertisement on Facebook about Inishowen Development Partnership’s new Health and Social Care CE Scheme that she had the idea of getting into a new career altogether- caring.

“Although my background is in childcare I always wanted to get into caring and working with older people,” said Rose.

“When I was younger I used to really enjoy visiting our older neighbours so getting on this new CE scheme has been perfect for easing back into employment.”

Rose is now completing hands on work experience with St Columbcille Village in Clonmany since January while also completing vital training and studying towards her major qualifications.

Through the Health and Social Care CE Scheme participants are able to complete work experience in a healthcare setting locally for whilst also working towards their FETAC qualifications. They are also able to avail of benefits such as reduced childcare and a medical card, however to take part on the scheme they must be in receipt of jobseekers for 12 months.

Shauna Gallagher Health and Social Care CE Supervisor with IDP said she currently has eight people signed up and undertaking their the first module of QQI Fetac level 5 in health and social care. Donegal ETB will provide the remaining modules at the beginning of September.

“I have people currently completing work experience in Carndonagh, Buncrana, Clonmany and Fahan, but I do have more places for people throughout the peninsula so if you think this is something you might be interested in and you might be eligible give me a call,” said Shauna.

Anne Doherty manager of St Columbcille Village in Clonmany said they are so happy to have Rose in their 13 bed residential care home.

“The staff here and the residents love to see Rose coming,” said Anne.

“I never put her on the rota so she is always an extra pair of hands to help out with the jobs or to help the residents. Since being here on the CE scheme she has made the most of everything she does and it has been a great learning experience for her. You can tell this is something she really wants to do.”

Since she joined the CE scheme in January Rose like her counterparts on the scheme has completed more 300 hours of work experience and fundamental training courses such as patient handling, cardiac first aid and manual handling.

“It has been great- I’m delighted now to start the modules and I feel because I have the background working in Columbcille Village that I am not starting on a blank canvas,” explained Rose.

“As well as that Anne and the staff in here have offered to help me with the course work and we it great support having the other people on the scheme and going through with you. I really recommend this for anyone interested in Healthcare or becoming a carer – it has been great for me to get back to work and it is very flexible to work around family life,” added Rose.

The Health and Social Care CE is funded by the Department of Social Protection (DSP) but managed locally by Inishowen Development Partnership (IDP) It is the first of its kind across the country.

For more information on the scheme and current vacancies or to confirm eligibility contact, CE supervisor Shauna: 086 1990219/ shaunagallagher@inishowen.ie