NEBOSH Certificate supports multi-tasking charity worker

Case Study: Corinna Decodts - Cancer Fund for Children


Many charitable organisations depend heavily on the multi-tasking capabilities of those who work for them. For some, it is the only way they can be as efficient as possible with their limited resources to ensure as much funding as possible is channelled towards their core purpose.

Cancer Fund for Children is one such charity. Based in Belfast, Northern Ireland, the organisation provides practical and emotional support, including free therapeutic short breaks, to children and young people aged 0 to 24 affected by cancer and their families. Corinna Decodts, who has worked there for twelve years, is not only responsible for the charity’s IT infrastructure, but her role also includes facilities management and health and safety.

Corinna has a degree in Business and IT and her first job was as a PA for a company undertaking capital projects, which is where she says she gained ‘her love for facilities’.

“I started off in IT at Cancer Fund for Children and then took on the additional role of facilities management in 2012. That was all fine, but then along came health and safety and I have to admit I initially had no idea what was involved and felt out of my depth. I needed a relevant qualification, but the problem for us as a charity is we don’t really have much of a training budget.” 

Fortunately, Corinna did a little online research and came across the Charities Safety Group (CSG). NEBOSH works with CSG to support individuals from the charitable and voluntary sectors studying for our National General Certificate or National Fire Certificate qualifications. We waive our fees every year for these individuals and our learning partners, in this case Northern Ireland based Cosensa, provide free places to candidates who apply through the CSG. For Corinna, this meant she was able to gain all of the knowledge and practical skills delivered through the NEBOSH Certificate course and her employers didn’t have to pay one penny. 

The qualification has been invaluable and to receive this support entirely free of charge is so important to a local charity like ours. We aim to channel as much of our funding as possible into the support of children and young people with cancer, so CSG has been incredibly supportive,” Corinna told us. 

Cancer Fund for Children is not just where Corinna works. It is a charity that is particularly close to her heart. She lost both her father and uncle to cancer, and there was a further twist a few years ago when Corinna herself was diagnosed with a brain tumour. “As you would imagine, my employers couldn’t have been more supportive at that time, and I realise more now just what an incredible service they provide to children and their families.” 

Corinna went on: “Having a NEBOSH Certificate has allowed me to contribute even more at Cancer Fund for Children. We have a therapeutic short break facility for families and a residential log cabin for young people impacted by cancer and it is vital we maintain high standards of safety for everyone who visits. It’s all part of the service we offer. Then there is the fund-raising side of things that brings all kind of challenges in terms of risk management. Bouncy castles, bog-runs, overseas treks, you name it, these are just some of the things we’ve organised. 

“Without the grounding and excellent teaching I experienced during my NEBOSH General Certificate studies I wouldn’t have known where to even begin. It’s massively important to us as a charity, for all kind of reasons, that we manage health and safety correctly and thanks to my NEBOSH qualification  I feel that I’m doing everything right and that everything we do is compliant.”

How has your NEBOSH qualification helped you? Email us with your storymarketing@nebosh.org.uk

  • National General Certificate in Occupational Health and Safety