Local charity celebrates training and employment successes of people with learning disabilities and learning difficulties.


In times of difficult economic climates, redundancies, job cuts and tighter purses a local charity found many reasons to celebrate.


On Tuesday 15th November at the Island Centre Lisburn, Stepping Stones NI celebrated the successful achievements in the attainment of qualifications and employment of people with learning disabilities and learning difficulties accessing the training and employment services of the organisation. Speakers at the annual event included the Minister for Health Mr Edwin Poots MLA , Mr Colum Boyle Director of Employment Service, The Department of Employment and Learning and UTV Mr Julian Simmons.


Speaking at the event Health Minister Edwin Poots commented:

“I welcome the opportunity to come here today and be a part of this event. I acknowledge the hard work and commitment of these young people leading them to receive these awards and wish them every success.

“Their lives and the lives of others in their communities will be enhanced through their hard work and achievements.”



Julian Simmons was also delighted to be at the event and presented the trainees and clients with their awards. A long standing supporter of the Charity he told the audience:


“I am truly amazed at the amount of people here celebrating today. So many of you have completed training programs and gotten jobs this year and you should all be incredibly proud.”


Mr Colum Boyle of the Department of Employment and Learning said:

“It truly is a privilege to be here with you all today. I am wholly inspired by the dedication and commitment you have all shown to your own development and the department is committed to keep programs such as Stepping Stones going. “


Paula Jennings Chief Officer of Stepping Stones was delighted at the achievements of the young people saying “None of this would have been possible without the support of our 120 employers, the support of the Lisburn Community and our partnership working with NOW. We are making it happen for young people with learning disabilities and learning difficulties every day, supporting them to fulfil their work potential.