Transitions | Orchardville - Opportunity Employment Support



 16-19 year olds

Our transitions service is funded by the Belfast Health and Social Care Trust and the Western Health and Social Care Trust.


About the programme

Our transitions service provides practical support to young people with a learning disability or autism aged 16-19 who are preparing to leave school. At present the project works with young people attending special schools in the BHSCT, SEHSCT and WHSCT areas. Every young person accessing the service creates a personalised programme to enable the development of important skills needed for leaving school. This can include travel training, money management, independent living skills and activities that promote a healthy lifestyle. We 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 your school or Transitions Co-ordinator in the Education Authority. Completed application forms can be sent to 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 has developed a variety of resources aimed at supporting young people with learning disability or autism prepare for leaving education. This includes a web based information platform and practical training resources. The new resources have been tested with groups of young people in Northern Ireland, Republic of 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 or visit the project website


Our transitions service is funded by the Belfast Health and Social Care Trust and the Western Health and Social Care Trust.

Transitions Flyer

Transitions Leaflet

Download PDF 

At work in the Orchard Café, Belfast

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