STEPPING Stones NI, a charity based in Lisburn, have celebrated the first year of their new Transition Service, which helps young people make the move from school to the workplace.
The new transitions service is specifically for young people with learning disabilities and difficulties who are still at school.
Working closely with both special and mainstream schools in the Lisburn area the Transitions Service assists young people with learning disabilities and difficuiteies, and the people involved in their lives, make informed decisions about the right move after school.
"Stepping Stones continues to provide many excellent services to a number of SEELB Statemented pupils, whether it is assisting them to gain various skills and experience or aid their development into adult life and make their goals a reality," explained Gary Harpur' SEELB Transitions Co-coordinator.
In its first year the Stepping Stones Transitions Service has supported over 20 young people with learning disabilities and learning difficulties to do just that.
Through the service students have been supported on work experience placements in local restaurants/cafes, architect's offices, a solicitors practice and retail outlets to name but a few.
Local employer Christine Reid of Reid & Co Solicitors said: "As an employer Reid & Co Solicitors are delighted to be involved with the Transition Programme at Stepping Stones. Seeing a person with special realise what they can contribute as an employee is very rewarding." Furthermore, several students have undergone some accredited courses such as 'Food Hygiene Awareness'' 'Working with Others' and Travel Training supported by the Stepping Stones training department. Training Placements and training opportunities are all tailored to the young person's individual interests, abilities and needs.
James Scott' a pupil from Parkview school said "I am on placement two days out of school each week working on an open activity farm and a riding school. When I leave school I want Stepping Stones to get me a job working outdoors."
If you would like to know more about Stepping Stones contact 9266 6404 or visit www.steppingstones.org.uk.