Southern Area FYI – Edition 89

Welcome to the 89th edition of our information bulletin, ‘FYI’ (For Your Information).

Download your copy here

(Note: FYI will download directly to your device.  Look out for the pop up box and click on open file when it appears).

Once again, we have a range of opportunities, activities and programmes for children, young people and parents across the Southern Area. These are all led by recognised providers and most are free, so, if you think it may be relevant to you, then sign up! We also encourage all readers to share with colleagues, friends and families.

On Page 41 you will see how you can find out or share any information on upcoming activities and events by attending one (or more!) of our locality planning groups. To find out more about these groups and their purpose, contact Darren at

See you in a fortnight!

Joanne Patterson & Darren Curtis, Locality Development Team, Southern Area

Queen’s Pathway Opportunity Programme 2023

The Programme, in its 7th year, encourages and supports young people from more disadvantaged backgrounds (in year 13 or college equivalent) to come to Queen’s to study.  The programme has grown every year, starting with 3 Pathways and 60 students in 2017 to this year with 13 Pathways and 300 students.

In the Pathway Programme, young people benefit from a structured series of events designed to aid progression to Queen’s University Belfast including 5 one-day events, two sessions of self-paced coursework and a week-long summer school.  Through this process they work within one of 13 Pathway subject areas, learning more about that subject and about university life in general. The subject Pathways are:

  • AHSS Pathway (Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences)
  • BioSci Pathway (Biological Sciences)
  • Business Pathway
  • Computer Science Pathway
  • Engineering Pathway
  • Law Pathway
  • MPS Pathway (Mathematics & Physical Sciences Pathway)
  • MDBS Pathway (Medicine, Dentistry and Biomedical Sciences Pathway)
  • NBE Pathway (Natural and Built Environment Pathway covering Architecture, Planning, Geography and Archaeology)
  • Nursing and Midwifery Pathway
  • Pharmacy Pathway
  • Psychology Pathway
  • Social Work Pathway

Upon successful completion of the programme the students benefit from a guaranteed conditional offer on a course at Queen’s within their Pathway subject area (aside from those on the Social Work Pathway who will only receive a grade reduction, the Nursing and Midwifery Pathway, where students will receive their first choice in their chosen field of nursing, and those hoping to study Medicine/Dentistry or the MPharm Pharmacy course, who will receive a guaranteed interview and a one grade reduction) may be eligible for a reduced offer of up to two A-level grades (or equivalent) below the standard entry offer to Queen’s (depending on performance on the programme and course selected). This along with a £1000 bursary, transition support and ongoing support while they are at Queen’s.

Students must meet eligibility criteria to apply to the programme and we would encourage that students state all areas of the criteria that they meet on their application.  Again this year, our GCSE entry requirements state that students must now have at least: 6 GCSEs (or equivalent acceptable to the University, such as BTEC) at grades A*-C, including English Language, of which 5 GCSE grades must be at grade B or above. All GCSE grades need to satisfy any requirements for the course(s) on the chosen Pathway (for example, a grade B in Maths at GCSE to study Business courses).  Again, students should ensure that they include all of the eligibility criteria they meet on the application form.

The applications will open (online) on Monday 3rd October 2022 and will close on Wednesday 2nd November 2022 at noon. After receipt of the application a teacher at your young person’s school, or a member of your organisation (as nominated by the student) will be asked to complete a “technical” reference for the young person, confirming information such as postcode, eligibility requirements and GCSE grades/A-Level subjects. Please note that this is NOT a “personal” reference and does not require a written personal recommendation, however, where there are any issues that should be taken into account (health issues, overcoming adversity, etc.) they may be noted in this reference.   This year we will also request any additional support that student normally would receive during exam and assessment conditions, such as additional time, or specific paper for dyslexia.

To encourage your young people to apply, we are offering either virtual or pre-recorded webinars, or we are more than happy to send the presentation materials to you, depending on what would work best for you and your eligible students, as we know that some organisations have benefitted from presenting the information themselves.  Alternatively, the talks will take the form of a 45 minute to one hour presentation to inform young people about the programme and motivate them to make an application.

Download Information Flyer:

Courses available:

Pathway Video:

Full Powerpoint Presentation:

Key Dates Document:

Postcode checker:

PDF of the Presentation:


Summer Gets Active 2022

8 Days, 13 Activities, 50 Peer Mentors, 75 Children, 48 Families and 9 Nationalities…

It was another busy summer at Portadown Gets Active, with an excellent team of peer mentors who delivered 7 of the workshops over the 2 weeks. A fantastic family day took place with a visit from Jurassic LOC-down and lots of Jurassic-themed activities ran across the week!

Find out more about the Summer Gets Active 2022 programme and about what participating children, young people and families thought of the experience HERE

Next up, Halloween’s “Monsters Inc Gets Active”…

(The aims of Portadown Gets Active (PGA) are to provide Primary School age children, who are eligible for free school meals, with a healthy breakfast and lunch outside of school term-time, as well as providing opportunities to learn something new, participate in physical activities and most importantly have fun with their peers. Referrals also come through the Craigavon & Banbridge Family Support Hub (FSH) , Community Intercultural Programme, Family Intervention and SHSCT. Children from Portadown, Craigavon, Lurgan and Banbridge attend the Programme. Oasis Youth, PGA’s lead community partner, works in partnership with key agencies and organisation to ensure PGA has run successfully since 2017.)

Derry, Limavady, Strabane & Waterside LPG News – September 2022

Welcome to the September 2022 edition of the locality news for Derry, Limavady, Strabane and Waterside Locality Planning Groups with lots of the latest information on training, programmes, events and resources across the local area.

Download your copy – Derry, Limavady, Strabane & Waterside LPG News – September 2022

(Note: LPG News will download directly to your device.  Look out for the pop up box and click on open file when it appears).

Shankill SureStart Vacancies

Shankill Surestart are currently recruiting for 3 posts.

Antenatal Family support Worker – Download Job Description and Personnel Spec Here

Family support Worker – Download Job Description and Personnel Spec Here

Early Years Practitioners, Additional Needs – Download Job Description and Personnel Spec Here

For more information contact

The Spectrum Centre
331 Shankill Rd
BT13 3AA

T: 02890 311455 / 02890 504555