- Young people / youth work
- Services for people with disabilities
- Health services and health promotion
- Mental health
- Social inclusion
- Housing and homelessness
- Employment and job creation
- Peace and reconciliation
- Services for Travellers and ethnic minorities
- Policy, advocacy and campaigns
- Community outreach and engagement
- Development of education and training materials and programmes
- European learning networks and exchanges
Extern is the leading social justice charity operating across the island of Ireland, supporting around 20,000 people each year to change their lives. Operating for over 40 years, we believe another chance can change a life. Every day Extern works alongside children, young people, and families facing challenges to empower positive change and support family unity. We support people who are homeless or facing homelessness, those dealing with mental health issues and the impact of suicide, people experiencing problem drug and alcohol use and people living with problem gambling. We also support refugees, the Traveller community and people who have been through the criminal justice system, to change their lives.As a charity, Extern strives for an inclusive and fair society; keeping children and their families together where possible; reducing offending and the impact of offending on victims and the community; that people have somewhere to live and that the people we work with are better equipped to live and make a contribution to their community.We are also the leading provider of placements for social work students in the voluntary sector in Northern Ireland.
EU Project Experience
The Third Space project is funded through the PEACE IV programme and aims to positively transform the lives of 800 young people aged between 14-24, who have been identified as being vulnerable and at risk. IT also allows those from different communities, cultural, and religious backgrounds, and rural areas, to undertake a personalised self-development and training programme.This cross-border project is delivered in conjunction with partner agency Verbal, an organisation promoting the power of the spoken and written word. As part of the 26-week programme, which is open to young people already on a range of benefits and allowances, participants are offered the opportunity to meet new people, take part in residentials, and participate in shared reading experiences.In addition, they acquire new skills in video production, and gain a qualification. A key focus of the project is to help highly vulnerable young people to:
- Reduce social isolation
- Develop a deeper sense of community awareness within their communities
- Successfully negotiate and manage a programme of personal development for themselves, supported by qualified staff
EU Funding Goals
We would like to learn other approaches and methodologies practiced in different communities, learn best practice and how other bodies in different countries are implementing them. We would also like to achieve better cross-cultural understanding of issues pertaining to race, class, language, and faith relating to new communities which are redefining the demographic of Ireland.
Extern's Third Space project combines streamlined youth work methodology with creative arts to maximise its impact. Delivering in Northern Ireland, where peace and reconciliation is very much still a priority, means that over the last four years we have gathered wide-ranging expertise in working with young people from diverse backgrounds, the socially disadvantaged and the vulnerable. We have developed a wide range of networks that interlink to share resources and experiences to provide better opportunities. We have used innovative approaches to great success, including music projects, digital storytelling and alternative outdoor pursuits. With our peer mentoring model we are encouraging young people to become ambassadors for and in their communities.