A brand new Youth Service targeting young people who are not in mainstream further education and employment is being launched by Stepping Stones NI and NOW – partner training and employment organisations for people with learning difficulties.

The Youth Service, which is launched on Thursday, May 30th, at Belfast city centre’s Oh Yeah venue, takes Stepping Stones NI and NOW in a totally new direction. Currently being rolled out across Belfast and Lisburn, it will engage with 160 young people who are experiencing difficulties with learning and communicating.

Funded through the Department for Employment and Learning’s Collaboration and Innovation Fund, the new service is designed to help young people identify what they love and are good at doing and break down their personal barriers to volunteering, education and employment.

Programmes provided by the Youth Service, which will be wholly participant-led, include: group engagement; one-to-one mentoring; support in building skills in assertiveness, health-awareness, citizenship and anxiety management, and; advice on how to set up a small business. The Youth Service will also recruit 20 skilled volunteers from a range of backgrounds who will share their expertise and life experiences with the young people through planned activity and training programmes.

By the end of participants’ time with the service, they will have the option of moving onto established and successful employment and training services already provided by Stepping Stones NI and NOW.

If you would like to know more about Stepping Stones NI’s and NOWs Youth Service, contact

Project Coordinator Joanne Hudson on tel: 028 90436400 and email: joanne.hudson@nowproject.co.uk

If you have free time and would like to volunteer your skills and expertise to this exciting new venture, contact Charlie Bell on charlie.bell@nowproject.co.uk

More information on the Youth Service will be available after Thursday’s launch (30th May 2013).