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Dreamscheme NI

Promoting Positive Transformations

Dreamscheme is an award-winning youth development organisation seeking to bring about positive transformations in young people and communities in South and East Belfast. They offer a comprehensive youth work programme which encompasses youth support (building early engagement with ‘at risk’ groups) and youth intervention work (stepping in when there are identified problems).

Building relationships to make a positive, long-term difference in the lives of at-risk young people

Dreamscheme engage with over 300 young people annually and sustain relations with the young people over a period of 4-5 years.

The focus is on affirming young people and promoting self-worth; challenging attitudes and encouraging dialogue; encouraging active youth citizenship and developing young people’s life skills.

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The Challenge 

In 2019 it was reported the numbers of young girls being referred to NI Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services had escalated dramatically and disproportionately over the previous three years. At a local level Dreamscheme were also seeing a significant increase in the number of girls presenting with recent histories of self-harming, depression, bullying, and anxiety.  

On conducting its own research, Dreamscheme identified that 71% of girls felt they were ‘not getting on well at school’, while 50% had ‘worries about the future’. In the same survey, 71% of girls attending Dreamscheme expressed their main challenges in life as being ‘mental health problems such as low self-esteem, depression, anxiety’, while 64% voiced major problems with ‘not fitting in’.

Creating safe spaces where young people can thrive

The Response

In response Dreamscheme sought to invest and build their capacity and expertise to support teenage girls by employing a dedicated Girls’ Youth Worker to develop and lead a tailored support programme.

The new programme collated best practice, knowledge and insights in supporting at-risk girls and resulted in a flexible and responsive mix of in-school mentoring, group activities, peer support and dedicated role models. 

The Results….


made progress in respect of school attendance & educational aspirations


reported enhanced emotional wellbeing


reported better communications and improved relationships

Positive Futures

Following on this success, Dreamscheme continues to invest in offering a dedicated Girls’ Youth Programme providing positive role models to listen, encourage, challenge and counsel.

Dreamscheme volunteers were recently recognised and celebrated by the presentation of the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service.

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Other partners who are making a difference

Identifying the right network of dedicated and ambitious partners has enabled us to deliver on our charitable purposes and activities. Here are just some of the life-changing projects that our grant partners have been involved in.

  • Sólás


    Initially established in 2009 as a charity supporting children and young people with a broad range of additional needs including autism and ASD.

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  • South Belfast Foodbank

    South Belfast Foodbank

    Responsible for providing over 270,000 meals to people in crisis and for the distribution of over 200 tonnes of food.

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  • Flourish NI

    Flourish NI

    Helping survivors of human trafficking not only recover from their traumatic experiences but also to regain self-belief and new skills so that they can lead safe, independent and fulfilled lives.

    Read More