Northern Irish hospitality group the Galgorm Collection has entered into a new partnership with the NOW Group.
The Galgorm Collection stated, "Northern Ireland's leading hospitality group, Galgorm Collection, today confirmed a new three-year strategic partnership with the NOW Group which will see the first ever Gold Jam Card membership on the island of Ireland awarded to a hospitality partner.
"Established in 2000, the NOW Group is a social enterprise focused on supporting people with learning difficulties and autism into jobs with a future. The group's Jam Card Gold Membership is awarded to businesses that demonstrably place diversity and accessibility at the heart of business.
"Through the programme, Galgorm Collection will place its full team through rigorous training to become Jam Card friendly, which means that guests requiring additional time and patience can discretely alert team members and ask for 'just a minute'. It is hoped that the new initiative will help to support guests and visitors with learning difficulties, autism, or communication barriers to experience its full five-star service.
"Galgorm Collection has also committed to creating at least five new jobs for people living with autism and enrolled with NOW Group's employment service. The new jobs cover a range of hospitality roles throughout Galgorm's collection of properties in Belfast, Ballymena, Crawfordsburn and Templepatrick."
Galgorm Collection Group Finance Director Statement
Galgorm Collection Group finance director Tiarnán O'Neill stated, "As a responsible business and major local employer, Galgorm Collection is deeply committed to excellence and inclusivity which is firmly embedded within our business. We're delighted to be the first hospitality partner on the island of Ireland set to achieve Gold Jam Card Membership status and affirm our commitment to supporting our communities.
"We continually strive to exceed customer expectations and offer an unforgettable service across our collection of award-winning, luxury hotels and restaurants and I’m delighted that this partnership will enable us to deliver this to all guests.
"We're also thrilled to confirm a new three-year strategic partnership with the NOW Group to really drive our credentials in the area of diversity and inclusion and to provide new employment opportunities to those living with autism or learning difficulties, which we hope to build on throughout the partnership."
NOW Group Chief Executive Statement
Meanwhile, NOW Group chief executive Maeve Monaghan stated, "We are thrilled to confirm Galgorm Collection as our first strategic hospitality partner and to work with the group in achieving Gold Jam Card Membership which represents our top mark for diversity and inclusion.
"Since launching the Jam Card initiative in 2012, the scheme has been a resounding success with more than 1,800 organisations across the region participating in the training programme. We're delighted to now build upon that momentum by announcing a new strategic partnership with Northern Ireland's leading hospitality group, which will take the programme to the next level.
"Galgorm Collection is a key strategic partner for us and we're excited to work closely with the group to deliver upon this new programme. Not only will this partnership create new employment opportunities for our service users, but it will allow Galgorm Collection to lead the hospitality industry in terms of neurodiversity and how it supports vulnerable customers.
"We hope that this programme will encourage other organisations across all industries to see the benefits of joining us in committing to support those with visible and hidden disabilities through our Jam Card initiative."
Additional Galgorm Collection Statement
The Galgorm Collection added, "In addition to the new jobs created, Galgorm Collection will further support the NOW Group's social enterprise Loaf Pottery. Located in Crawfordsburn, the café and ceramics shop sits directly opposite Galgorm Collection's newest venture, The Old Inn, which was acquired by the group earlier this year.
"Through the partnership, pottery and ceramics crafted from the shop will be made available for sale across Galgorm Collection's properties, reaching an expanded customer base and promoting the enterprise to new audiences from near and far."
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