Inspiring young change makers to hack their world for good

Bytes has nearly three decades of experience working with the most socially excluded young people in both rural and urban communities across Northern Ireland. At our core we combine a youth work approach within a tech-based context to inspire and enable progression into education, training and employment. This is underpinned with 1:1 mentoring and personal development opportunities, so that young people discover practical and constructive ways forward, availing of qualification & up-skilling opportunities to increase confidence and create positive pathways for their future.

In 2019/20 we engaged directly with more than 1,200 young people in Northern Ireland in a variety of contexts. Our work includes on-street youth work, schools and youth clubs, homeless hostels, youth justice settings, employment and training programmes, EU PEACE IV Good Relations schemes and smaller, targeting programmes of short term engagement. We have offices in Belfast and Derry-Londonderry, but our reach extends well beyond these centres and we do significant work in rural communities across Northern Ireland.

Over the past 18 months we have begun experimenting with digital innovation, prototyping a youth led listening platform with funding from The National Lottery Community Fund's UK Portfolio fund. The planned Curiosity Lab will dovetail with this digital listening platform to bring the soft skills needed to turn digital data into youth-led activism and innovation that is bespoke to the issues young people have identified within their geographical communities or communities of interest.


The Bytes Approach

At Bytes, our aim is to inspire young people and give them both the confidence and skills they need to change the world around them for the better. To do this we combine technology, youth work, formal training & qualifications, personal mentoring and long term support, for young people of all backgrounds. ​

Technology

Since our foundation, we have used technology to reach out to young people, to bring them together and  to provide them with new skills and experiences. Whether through the creation of short films or an introduction to coding in a group setting, we aim to engage young people with tech in a creative space that helps develop wider skills. ​

Everyday Support

Our youth workers support young people as they learn and develop. This continuing support and guidance takes the form of everything from meeting up with a young person for a coffee to check in, through to helping with CVs and accompanying them to important appointments or meetings. These 'soft outcomes' are often less immediately apparent to outside observers, but are a crucial part of a young person's development.

Qualifications

We offer accredited OCN qualifications in a wide range of subjects to the young people who take part in our projects. We also help young people with other qualifications and assessments, such as gaining CSR cards or preparing for a driving test. ​