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  • Writer's pictureGerry Monaghan

Ryan’s Five Star Performance

Appearing from left to right: Councillor Errol Thompson, The Chair of Fermanagh and Omagh District Council; Ryan Melly, Junior Chef, Lough Erne; Noel McMeel, Lough Erne Resort Executive Chef; Sean Hanna, VERVE Programme Manager, NOW Group

NOW Group participant Ryan Melly (25) from Enniskillen is loving his new role as a Junior Chef at the Lough Erne resort.

Ryan joined the NOW Group in October 2020, initially looking for support to help him improve his confidence and develop appropriate skills to move into employment. He took part in the prestigious Loaf Catering Academy programme, which was funded by Fermanagh & Omagh District Council. The Academy equips participants with the core skills needed to work in the hospitality sector.

During lockdown Ryan used his IT skills to complete several online training qualifications and then identified a position at the Lough Erne Resort that he wanted to apply for. Ryan worked with one of NOW Group’s Employment Officers on both the application and then preparing for the subsequent interview. Working with one of NOW Group’s Employment Officers on both the application and the interview, Ryan was delighted to be offered the position in the busy kitchen at the luxury resort.

Sean Hanna, Programme Manager at the NOW Group says “From the first conversation we had with a member of the HR team in the Lough Erne Resort, we instantly had a great feeling about the hotel and their staff – it was clear that workplace inclusion is a priority for them. They have gone above and beyond to support Ryan on his employment journey.”

Lough Erne Resort Executive Chef, Noel McMeel commends Ryan’s work ethic and willingness to learn. “Ryan has shown himself to be very committed to his personal development and has been a really good asset within our kitchen team which operates in a fast-paced working environment where standards need to be consistently high. Right across our teams at Lough Erne Resort we take a lot of pride in our ongoing diversity and inclusion policies. Ryan has proved himself worthy of employment as a Junior Chef and me and our team will be working closely with Ryan to help him be the very best he can be.”

The Chair of Fermanagh and Omagh District Council, Councillor Errol Thompson said,

“Fermanagh and Omagh District Council is committed to working in partnership with other key stakeholders to improve the lives of all the people of the district. The Council’s partnership with the NOW Group has already delivered two catering academies since 2019 and Ryan was one of more than 30 beneficiaries of the academies.

I am confident that our partnership with NOW Group has proved very successful and many more young participants will, like Ryan, enter the employment market as qualified, experienced and confident employees.

I would like to wish Ryan every success with his future career at Lough Erne Resort.”

Last word goes to Ryan who says, “I did the catering course and I learned so much from it. I met so many people thanks to it and it was great to socialise again after Covid. With the help of the NOW Group, I have employment in the Lough Erne Resort and I am really enjoying it. My Employment Officer is still supporting me which is great. I have come so far thanks to the NOW Group.”

Interested in learning more about our support services? Give us a call on 028 9043 6044 or drop us an email at Our team is ready to help you into work in 2021.

This project is part funded through the Northern Ireland European Social Fund Programme 2014 – 2020 and the Department for the Economy.

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