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Stepping Stones Trainees Get a Step Up with Energy for Children Charity

Stepping Stones Trainees Get a Step Up with Energy for Children Charity

13 November 2017

Young Trainees from Stepping Stones NI got a step up from the Energy for Children Charitable Trust after receiving funding for new Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL) equipment for their classrooms to aid in their learning.

Stepping Stones NI, based in Lisburn, is a charity providing vocational training for people with learning disabilities or difficulties to gain employment. The Charity helps around 100 young people aged 16-19 who are disadvantaged because of learning disabilities or learning difficulties and supports them through their Training Service, Youth Programme and Training & Employment Service.

Fundraising Manager, Ellen Hillen, applied to the Energy for Children Charitable Trust to request funding for three new iPads to provide additional learning tools that will make a difference to how young people learn.

“At Stepping Stones NI, one of the main ways in which the students learn is through Technology Enhanced Learning. This is known to have many benefits not only to the trainees, but also to the teachers and its use in the classroom can be a great equalizer in a group of people with all different needs and abilities. It is of particular benefit to people with Autism and Asperger’s Syndrome and those who find reading and writing difficult.

“I was delighted to receive funding for three new iPads from the Energy for Children Charity. Not only will this enable our staff to use teaching and learning methods suited to individual learning styles, but it will help in developing and growing our Training Services department, allowing us to widen our reach outside the Greater Belfast and Lisburn area.

“This additional new equipment will enhance our training provision in North Down & Ards and Downpatrick & Mourne to support the new social enterprises established in those areas over the last 18 months. We can’t thank Energy for Children enough for their support.”

Charity Liaison Officer, Geri Wright, said, “I’m delighted to see how much of a difference this equipment has made to young people at Stepping Stones NI. Each student here has a different need and that can often make teaching and training very difficult for staff. The use of these new iPads as a central learning tool will assist in reaching even more young people with learning difficulties and help them achieve their potential, securing employment and growing in skills and confidence.

“This is exactly why the Charity exists, to help young people who are most in need and I’m thrilled to see the positive impact it is having on students at Stepping Stones NI.”

Energy for Children is an initiative of Phoenix Natural Gas and the wider natural gas industry. The Charity was established in 2005 to provide financial support to groups and individuals that may slip through the net of the wider charity network.

Founded on the principle that ‘all monies raised go directly to local children and young people’, the Trust aims to reach deeper into the heart of local communities throughout Greater Belfast and beyond in order to really make a difference to disadvantaged children’s lives.

Since its formation, the trust has helped over 6,000 local children and every month continues to help those who need it most.

For more information on the Energy for Children Charitable Trust, visit

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