Reconnection and Transitions – Evaluation Report

An evaluation report of the ‘Reconnection and Transitions’ programme in the summer of 2020 (Paula Goldsborough – January 2021)

2020 was a highly unusual year in the 20 year history of the delivery of Early Years services and programmes in South Belfast Sure Start due to the outbreak of the novel Coronovirus pandemic. As an organisation we have had to take stock of what we were doing and how we were doing it and respond innovatively to the different phases of the ongoing health crisis while trying to keep our children, families and staff as safe as possible. This evaluation focusses on one specific new programme we established in the summer of 2020 and the learning from that programme both as we continue to work within a global pandemic and hopefully for when we return to a more normal situation.

Read the full report HERE

Belfast Resilience Strategy

The Belfast Resilience Strategy is focused on future proofing the city and supporting the transition to an inclusive, climate resilient, low carbon economy. Join us as we host a series of community engagement workshops discussing the draft Belfast Resilience Strategy. To register book a free place on Eventbrite at one on the workshops in your area: –


Belfast Resilience Strategy, Falls Local Discussion

Belfast Resilience Strategy, Lower Shankill Local Discussion


Belfast Resilience Strategy, Short Strand Local Discussion

Belfast Resilience Strategy, Inner East Belfast Local Discussion


Belfast Resilience Strategy, Markets Local Discussion

Belfast Resilience Strategy, Donegal Pass Local Discussion

Belfast Resilience Strategy, Lower Ormeau Local Discussion


Belfast Resilience Strategy, Tiger’s Bay Local Discussion

Belfast Resilience Strategy, New Lodge Local Discussion


ASD/ADHD, The Child’s Journey Through Assessment and Diagnosis – An Education and Health Perspective

An ASD/ADHD workshop event was facilitated by Belfast Locality Planning Groups on November 6th 2019, at the Balmoral Hotel. Upwards of 130 people from a cross-section of organisations and disciplines attended the event. The high level of attendance reflects the fact that this is an accelerating issue in all LPG areas in Belfast, as identified by the FSHs and Locality Planning structures. 


The theme of this workshop was to outline the diagnostic journey for service users and their families through both the Education sector and the Belfast HSCT system.  The opportunity to have an input from both Health and Education was very positive in providing a comprehensive overview of the systems families have to navigate.  

From an education perspective Lorna Fitzpatrick (EA lead in ASD) delivered a presentation that mapped the route through education for children and families, once the child has been identified as being “different“.


Kris McKeever( ASD Lead, Belfast HSCT) and Paul Gemmell ( ADHD Lead, Belfast HSCT) both delivered presentations in respect of ASD and ADHD and the journey through the health system in Belfast for children and families. The final presentation delivered by Caroline Milligan outlined a model of good practice that is part of Glenbrook Surestarts programme which is based in North Belfast.  This national award winning programme, “Little Learners Pilot Programme” was launched due to an increasing number of children presenting with Autism and social communication concerns. This programme illustrated the partnership working not only between organisations and professionals but also between families and the service providers.

Presentations are available to view on Belfast Locality Planning Groups’ webpages.

This was an event that was designed to raise awareness and to encourage more discussion and partnership working between organisations, disciplines, service providers and service users in order to charter a way forwardFeedback collated to date from event evaluation forms is very positive and indicates that there is a willingness and enthusiasm across all sectors to continue to build on the conversations started at this event to plan and develop a range of supports for these children and their families.

Resilience: the Biology of Stress and the Science of Hope on 13 December

South Belfast LPG hosted a screening of Resilience: the Biology of Stress and the Science of Hope on 13 December. 

This was identified in their current action plan, which highlights the need to raise awareness of ACEs and improve resilience.  46 people attended the screening which was held in the Agapé Centre.  The event included the documentary and a discussion panel of Maurice Leeson; HSCB on behalf of the Regional ACEs Reference Group, Fintan Connelly; Take Ten and Nicola Hannigan; Barnardo’s. 

100% of attendees reported an increase in their knowledge of ACEs and toxic stress with one attendee commenting “…how valuable to see children holistically, understanding and supporting them, rather than blaming and punishing them, could change the world…”

Please see report card here

As part of this action a second screening was held on 16 January hosted Donegall Road Primary School for 30 teachers and schools staff from schools in the area.  This screening included a question and answer session with Mairead Weir, Principal of St. Joseph’s Slate Street West Belfast.