Skills for Staying Safe programme helps young people’s confidence grow.

Young people aged 16-18 years old complete a Skills for Staying Safe programme.

Published Wednesday, February 12, 2014

The Skills for Staying Safe Programme aims to increase young peoples’ awareness of every day dangers when at home, out in the community and using the internet. Although developing these skills is important, there were other positive changes for members of the group away from the sessions.

We all have different strengths. Some of the strengths of the young people in the group were that they were very supportive and accepting of each other, even though they were from different schools and liked different things.

One parent, whose son attends a special school, said that since coming to the group “he is more willing to venture into social groups. He enjoyed [making friends with] peers and it put him in a good mood”.

Confidence was also developed through other opportunities. Two boys used their evaluation skills and gave their opinion on the new Autism NI We Think Safe website, which has been developed as part of the Young People, Autism and Justice in Belfast project, funded by the Big Lottery reaching out – empowering young people fund.

The video was shown at the Autism NI Annual Conference in December 2013, and everyone thought that the boys were great! Their parents were very proud and also talked about their positive changes since starting the programme. “My son was confident enough to make a video at the end of the course, I was most impressed. He also started to learn the guitar since starting the course and I am most pleased with his development”.

With the support of youth workers the young people were able to test out ideas that they had had about themselves and they realised that these are not always true. “I felt very proud…this was a great confidence boost to him and gave him a feeling of being needed. He made friends in the group which really was an added benefit as he would tend to believe that others don’t like him” stated a parent.

The staff members at Autism NI would like to thank the boys for their hard work and dedication, and we look forward to hearing about their many achievements in the future.


You can find out more about the Skills for Staying Safe programme here