Project information

Project 23

Working with 'at risk' young people has been an integral part of the work of The Link Family and Community Centre since 1997. Having offered diversionary activities we now know a need to develop more intentional interventions that challenge, build esteem, enable growth and develop resilience

January 2015 - August 2018

Charity information: The Link Family and Community Centre

The Link Family and Community Centre logo
  • Need


    At present many of our young people are happy to accept limiting life choices because their self-worth and esteem are low.
    Their aspirations for the future are poor.
    Our young people often fail to progress towards normal developmental goals and achievements.
    They fail to finish courses and training because of a lack of confidence and a fear of failure.


    We encourage young people to explore more options rather than simply accept 'less' as the norm.
    We enable our young people to help themselves, to believe in themselves and hope for a better outcome for their lives.
    We offer new experiences and opportunities to broadening their horizons and expand their understanding of their life story so far; listening to them we want to do more of this.
    We have programmes that develop positive coping mechanisms for life's difficulties.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    To challenge risk taking behaviours


    » Develop a new model for group work based on learning from CBT Run 3 courses on physical, mental and sexual health

    What success will look like

    Reduction in the number of young people engaging in anti-social behaviour
    Reduction in the number of A&E attendances
    Reduction in the number of STI's and pregnancies

    Aim 2

    To encourage changes in risk taking behaviour


    » To develop a mobile learning app that builds on the learning from the courses

    What success will look like

    Young people's self declaration of changes in their behaviour
    Usage of the app to consolidate learning
    Young people mentoring other young people who are at risk

  • Impact


    We hope to see young people not in education, employment or training achieving personal goals and targets that they have chosen for themselves including returning to education or training or finding employment.


    There is a risk that some young people will drop out of the programme because of past experiences and this fear of failure. We have considered this risk by incorporating one to one support and by initiating mentoring by older volunteers.


    We have a quarterly publication that records successes and challenges.
    Monthly reports are prepared for internal meetings and the highlights available on the website.
    We host events for funders to update on the progress.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £52,000

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £26,000 Salary costs 1 full time Youth worker
      £5,000 Support costs stationery, heat, light, office space, internet management
      £10,000 Mobile Learning Development Mobile learning - development and creation
      £2,900 Travel staff costs and programme travel
      £8,100 Programme x 15 young people x 8 weeks x £65pp + resources
  • Background


    We are based in a family and Community Centre in Newtownards, County Down, which is in the south east of Northern Ireland. Identity is a challenging issue for all community groups in the town. Many of our young people come from communities with strong Protestant and ‘Loyalist’ identities and despite many years of community relations work, stereotyping and sectarianism remain a challenge in our work.


    According to recent child poverty statistics, 15% of children in Ards are currently living in poverty although this varies across the area. We have seen a significant rise in the number and use of food banks in the area. One local secondary school has over a third of their pupils receiving free school meals, this is the crude measure used to determine levels of poverty but it indicates that people are still facing economic challenges.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    We have a proven track record in youth work in Newtownards
    We have an experienced youth work team with qualified staff in youth work and psychology
    We have partnerships in place with the local Health Trust to deliver a weekly Youth Sexual health Clinic

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Gordon Crozier

    Youth Services Manager - he will be responsible for the development and deliver of the project

Information session with local police officers

Information session with local police officers


will pay for a counselling session

" I got a lot out of The Link. It's good to know people trust you and expect things of you. I feel better about myself, that I can do more"