As lock down measures ease, Stepping Stones NI is putting plans in place to re-open its services and social enterprises.

Our Chief Officer, Paula Jennings, has written to parents, carers, trainees and clients to keep everyone up to date of our plans to rebuild and re-open our services and social enterprises.

Dear Parent/Carer and Trainee and Client of Stepping Stones NI


I hope you and your families are keeping safe and well at this time as we are easing out of lock down. 


I know that this has not been an easy time for many of you who are balancing many roles within your families and also for our young people as their routines and structure have changed as a result of the COVID-19 crisis.  It has not been an easy time and it continues to be different for us all. 


I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for encouraging and supporting our trainees to participate in social media posts, telephone calls, Zoom calls and online training during lock down and for our trainees for their fantastic participation, you have been amazing.


Connecting with trainees and clients has been so important to us all and I personally have enjoyed seeing a range of wonderful activities from the painting of fences, the baking of banana bread to the feeding of the birds.  It has been really encouraging to hear the positive trainee stories from our staff and to see trainees’ smiling faces on social media at such a challenging time in our lifetime. 


With the NI ‘Executive Coronavirus Recovery Plan’ it is clear that many businesses and services are starting to rebuild and reopen in line with Public Health Guidelines and Government Policy in relation to COVID-19.   


At this time I wanted to inform you that Stepping Stones NI is no different and we are currently planning for the reopening of our services and social enterprises. 


We are putting plans in place with social distancing measures for our trainees, clients and customers. This is a challenging task given COVID-19 and will require creativity, outward thinking, a flexible approach to learning, work and skills development. We are grateful of your continued support as we rebuild and reshape our services in the coming weeks and months ahead for our trainees.  


We opened our social enterprise 2nd Avenue Cafe on Antrim St in Lisburn last week for take-out only and I know that the staff would be delighted to see you all.


As a charitable organisation and social enterprise we will continue to work with our stakeholders to ensure the very best for our staff, trainees and clients to ensure a safe return to the organisation and workplace. 


I will be in contact with you again with further updates in the weeks ahead and I would also encourage you to continue to visit our social media platforms for organisation activity.


In the meantime stay safe and well and feel free to contact me at your convenience.



Best regards

Paula Jennings

Chief Officer