Project Connect | Orchardville - Opportunity Employment Support : orchardville

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 Belfast, North Down, Downpatrick & Strabane

 16-20 year olds

Project Connect is funded by the Big Lottery Fund as well as the Belfast Health and Social Care Trust and the Western Health and Social Care Trust.


About the programme

Project Connect provides practical support to young people with Learning disability and/or autism aged 16-20 who are preparing to leave school. At present the project works with young people attending special and mainstream schools in Belfast, North Down, Downpatrick, Lisburn and Strabane but is not limited to these areas. Transition Officers develop an individual programme with each young person to develop important skills needed for leaving school. This includes travel training, money management, independent living skills and activities that promote a healthy lifestyle. Transitions Officers also organise and support young people in work experience opportunities with a variety of employers. To fully take part in the project young people usually require one day per week out of school and staff work closely with parents and teachers to arrange this.

How do I apply?

To apply please discuss with the SENCo at the relevant school or Transitions Co-ordinator in the Education Authority. Completed application forms can be sent to Lydia.lynas@orchardville.com with applications generally accepted between April to October for each new academic year. The form can be completed by teachers or other educational professionals, a social worker or by parents/carers ensuring that all sections are fully completed.

To compliment the transition service Orchardville is the lead partner in an Erasmus+ funded project named STARS (School Transition to Adult Responsibilities & Services). The project will develop a variety of resources aimed at supporting young people with learning disability and/or autism prepare for leaving education. This will include a web based information platform and practical training resources. The new resources will be tested with groups of young people in Northern Ireland, Ireland, Spain and Sweden from October 2019 with the final resources being available from October 2020. To find out more or if you would like to take part in testing the resources please contact Lydia.lynas@orchardville.com or view the project website www.starsweb.info

Project Connect is funded by the Big Lottery Fund as well as the Belfast Health and Social Care Trust and the Western Health and Social Care Trust.

Project Flyer

Project Connect Leaflet

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