2021 ESF case study - Active Communities Network 3

GOALS+ is a project provided by Active Communities Network (ACN) and is part funded through the Northern Ireland European Social Fund Programme 2014-2020 and the Department for the Economy. It is aimed at people aged 16 to 24 who are not in employment, education or training (NEET).


The project offers a package of mentoring, accredited training and support to aid participants on a progression pathway based upon their needs, interests and relevant further training, education or employment opportunities. This includes working with other agencies to develop new training qualifications, curriculum development and volunteering, and work placement programmes to support young people who experience poverty and social deprivation in neighbourhoods.

Participant's story

In this case study, ACN tells us about one of their clients who benefitted from participating on the GOALS+ programme, which this young person has recently completed:

"The participant has a young child and has struggled trying to find a job due to new commitments and doubts about whether she is comfortable leaving her child. She took the step, however, to organise childcare so that she could meet new people, develop and better herself through attending the programme.

"She has made positive relationships with the rest of the group and has emphasised the positive effects of the programme on her mental health. She has been thankful for the continued support and advice from youth workers and other peers."

The participant wanted to complete a nail extension course so that she could work as a nail technician, doing something she enjoys. She has thoroughly enjoyed the programme and has now successfully attained an acrylic nail certificate.

The participant is delighted with the outcome and has thanked the staff members saying,

“This has been a great opportunity and I’ve loved every minute of it. I felt supported by staff and loved having something for myself.”

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