Project information

Connect Youth

Access to life skills & training on a voluntary basis is crucial for engaging young people who have challenging & offending behaviour. Through the project we will work with PSNI & Youth justice Agency to provide training & interactive learning which will transforms many aspects of their lives.

April 2011 - March 2014

Charity information: The Bytes Project

The Bytes Project logo
  • Need


    49% of referrals had little/no qualifications There was a pattern of drifting in and out of the court system without any real understanding of how penalties could increase in severity with increased court appearances & could severely damage their future employment prospects. DEL (OCT10) also suggests mainstream programmes fail to reach them. Connect Youth will provide a fresh approach to understanding the impact of behaviours that many get drawn into & improve employment opportunities.


    Bytes will deliver a flexible programme using interactive methods to stimulate youth participation & provide connection between PSNI & youth in a positive way it will look at: involvement, consequences of behaviour on themselves, victims & wider society. This learning will be accredited at achievable level and progression routes made available. A signposting and mentoring service will facilitate the progression and transition of participants to relevant government provision when they are ready.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    Develop youth communication skills to facilitate constructive debate and address offending behaviour


    » Deliver 7 Communication & Assertiveness programmes-Positive dialogue to stimulate critical awareness & realise how they can bring about change.

    What success will look like

    Success will be 70 youth achieving accreditation, having better communication skills, improved sociability & having involved local community, PSNI & youth justice in intervention

    Aim 2

    Youth experience the juvenile justice system in order that they are diverted from offending behavior


    » Deliver 7 Young People Law & Order programmes-thematic areas car crime, anti-social behaviour, sectarianism/recreational rioting, alcohol & drugs

    What success will look like

    Success will be 70 accreditations, community re-integration through Law & Order element, reduction in offending behaviour, greater civic & community participation.

    Aim 3

    Increase employment opportunities of youth excluded from or disadvantaged in the labour market


    » Deliver 7 Employment Skills programmes-personal skills development, career planning, interview techniques, preparing for progression

    What success will look like

    Success will be 70 accreditations, reduce barriers to training, work & personal development reducing youth unemployment, low educational attainment and improving social mobility.

  • Impact


    210 youth will be empowered to address the offending behaviour & divert from crime; gain qualifications & develop employability skills. Impact on the skill sets of participants include: awareness of the Youth Justice system, basic skills, confidence building, job ready preparation and support. Success rate measured by following up with participants and tracking those who gain employment training etc. Also record participants anecdotal feedback & impact on deprived areas -distributional effect.


    The content of the programmes not suitably related to the age or abilities of the participants- We will ensure that materials are designed essential skills friendly & deliver workshops with regard to the ages and abilities of those involved

    Higher than expected participant drop-out on programmes- Staff trained in recruitment & retention, proactively reaching out to youth & building meaningful relationships. This will be supported by close working relationships with the YJA support worker.


    Donors will receive quarterly progress reports via email detailing the qualitative and quantitative achievements of the programme. It will also inform of up and coming activities, PR results and any necessary changes that have been made to project plans.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £10,600

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      Amount Heading Description
      £1,266 Accreditation costs 60 accredited units for personal development work carried out by young people with/at risk offending
      £2,000 team building activity's holding two 1-day cross community team building activities, inc transport, refreshments
      £3,200 2-day residential holding two cross community residentials for young people with/at risk of offending behaviour
      £2,134 personal development workshops holding 60 personal development workshops for young people with/at risk of offending behavour
      £2,000 celebration/prize giving event hold one celebration/prize giving event for participants and stakeholders
  • Background


    The project will be delivered primarily in greater Belfast, L/derry, Bangor and Lurgan in community settings which are based in socially deprived and interface areas. Young people in this programme will have had a poor experience at school, dropping out early or leaving with little or no educational attainment. They will be known to youth diversionary officers (PSNI) and the youth justice agency.


    Young people with complex personal issues, who are exhibiting risk taking behaviour, have extremely low self-confidence self-esteem & self-worth having no aspirations for future prospects. The NI conflict has influenced risk taking behaviour limiting prospects for work both locally and within the global economy. Young people will have the opportunity to develop personally, be made aware of the youth justice scheme and how it impacts their lives & develop employment skills.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    Bytes have a successful track record over 17yrs of engaging young people disengaged from education & presenting with challenging, anti-social behaviour progressing them to training, further education or work. We have developed a learning model which directly addresses the areas above. Multiple entry and exit points will facilitate a roll-on roll-off programme and capture young people referred prior to and post-conviction enabling them to move away from this behaviour.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Ronan McCaffrey

    Ronan will deliver intervention & prevention programmes as head designer of the engagement & education project having 5yrs experience in this field

    Nuala Barr

    Nuala is an essential skills tutor who will make learning assessable to all participants & will support special educational needs

    Kevin Hatton

    Kevin will utilise his creative media skills to engage young people in the project having 5 yrs previous experience

“…points kids in the right direction before they lose control and ruin their lives…before they get to the point where they don’t listen.”

Male particapnt aged 19