The Bytes Project is a youth work charity that has been working with the most vulnerable young people in Northern Ireland for nearly three decades. Many people ask us what we do, and we simply say that “we inspire young change makers to hack their world for good” – our WHY statement.

We do this by working towards a deep understanding of the social issues affecting young people in society in the 21st century. Bytes solves social issues affecting young people by harnessing the power of technology through innovative digital and traditional youth work. We have 34 staff embedded in local communities across Northern Ireland who - since our establishment in 1993 - have built up an enviable reputation for working with the most vulnerable young people (age 8-24) in society. We do this by combining technology, 1-2-1 mentoring, training, access to essential qualifications and often just simply listening. We have created positive change for thousands of young people, developing their latent potential and supporting them to progress into education, training and employment.

We now work globally, but our main centre of operations is still in Northern Ireland. We know that the current storm of economic and social pressures on young people in Northern Ireland (the impact of Brexit, life in a post-conflict society and now the pressures of 'lockdown' and a global health crisis) can seem overwhelming, but we have found that it also brings new energy for change. However, the key complication or “crux of the problem” is that many of these young people don’t feel that anyone listens to them and they are always told what the solution is! There is so much latent talent hidden in our most marginalised communities and within the next generation of young people in Northern Ireland. We help young people to unlock this potential for change, focusing on deeper solutions rather than the headline grabbing problems that we all constantly hear about. We recognise the truth that ultimately, vibrant communities can only be built and renewed by the young people living in them – that’s what Bytes does.

Roger Warnock, Director
(June 2020)