Cedar provides a regional Transition Service that fully involves young people and their families to make decisions about their life after school. This holistic service is aimed at improving a young person’s transition readiness. Recent programmes, training and financial advice workshops have been supporting young people and families with their upcoming plans…

Transition to College

Image shows man leaning over table and showing student how to do DIY.The Cedar Transitions Western Team attended South West College (SWC) and North West Regional College (NWRC) Open Days with a number of young people. Orla and Heather supported service users to engage with tutors, Learning Support and Careers Officers. Service users also attended NWRC Apprenticeship Week and explored a variety of trades.


The Western Teams held a Transitioning to College personal development programme for students who are considering a course at NWRC. They explored coping with change and discussed tips that help people manage change. The opportunity also offered some social time bowling to get to know potential new classmates.

The young people brought their parents to explore the college and it also provided the opportunity for parents to speak with course tutors. This kind of activity helps reduce any concerns and worries. Attendees complete the programme with increased confidence and our current participants are excited for their transition in September.

   Image shows two people sitting opposite each other at info desk. Leaflets cover the desk and one person is leaning forward explaining to the other. Slideshow screenshot: Transition Coping with change. Woman looking up to sky. Two people at dining table look at camera and smile. College entrance doors.                         

Disabled Student’s Allowance

The Northern Trust Transitions Team invited their young people and parents to join them in a Disability Student Allowance Support Workshop. Guest speakers included: Deborah Gamble -  EA DSA Officer, Michael Spence -University of Ulster Accessibility Advisor and Emma Porritt from the NRC’s Leaning Support Team.

Screenshot of DSA Class

Deborah explained what DSA is, how to apply, the process and what evidence was needed to support a DSA application. Michael discussed the needs assessment and types of support available and Emma spoke about it from a college perspective in terms of what to expect and how to arrange a needs assessment.

The workshop drew to a close with question-and-answer sessions where our young people and their families were able to clarify any issues they had. Stella and Gerard said:

The process was simplified and easier to understand. The openness of professionals asking questions made parents feel comfortable.”

If you are applying for a higher education course and have a disability, long-term health condition or specific learning difficulty, did you know that you can apply for funded support to make your studies more accessible? Our Transitions Officers Michelle (SE Trust) and Tara (Belfast Trust) delved into this subject with families on the Transitions Service recently, discussing the ins and outs of Disabled Students Allowance (DSA), what it is, who it’s for, when to apply and how applications can be made. Families reported feeling more at ease with the process by the end of the workshops and have started making their applications; you can find out more about making a DSA application here.

Carers Support

Cedar’s Transition Officers Orla and Heather highlighted some of the services provided by Cedar at the Carers Support Morning on Wednesday 22nd March 2023 in St. Pats Hall Strabane. This event was facilitated by the Primary Care Social Work Team and the Western Trust Carer Support team. It was a busy, engaging event that offered parents answers to questions and information that is extremely important at this time of transition.


Image shows three people standing at an information desk, looking at table and smiling.

How to get involved with Transitions:

Cedar’s Transitions Service is available in four HSC Trusts across Northern Ireland supporting young people aged 16-20 years to make appropriate choices when moving on from school to Further or Higher Education, training or employment ensuring they achieve their maximum potential. We support young people with disabilities & healthcare needs, autism and brain injury.

*The criteria for admission and length of service is dependent upon the contracts we hold in these areas.

For more information:

T: 02890 461834 or 02871 360136 

Email: [email protected]