What is Next Steps Development?
Next Steps Development has been set up as a charity, with the aim to help young adults who are struggling to find or maintain employment or enjoy a healthy social life. We offer support to those with disabilities, mental health illness, or those on the community payback scheme.
We have a comprehensive volunteer base, all of whom have a wide ranging skill set. We provide various training opportunities, some of which are peer led by our senior learners, alongside a social programme with the goal to empower each individual and result in an increase in confidence and self-worth. We also provide job coaching and life skills training for all learners.
Next Steps Development was set up due to a lack in services being offered in North Devon. We are based in a large property on one of the main roads into and out of Barnstaple.
The idea was originally set up by parents to help their son, who was born with a rare chromosome disorder, resulting in a variety of conditions and illnesses. This young man attended the local school for children with special educational needs; however, concerns were raised when he reached the age of eighteen and it became apparent that his options were limited as to what he would be able to do upon leaving school.
Attending college was an option that raised even more concerns, and it was decided, after much deliberation, that there really was only one choice left for the family. So, as parents who wanted only to see their son achieve purpose and fulfilment in life, it was decided that he would help his dad in the family business.
A few months later, when attending a meeting for small businesses at the local college, it became evident that this family were not the only one facing dilemmas of this kind. It was clear that there was a local need to help these young people gain purpose, motivation and assistance in their lives, and the family was inundated with requests from parents who had heard of the family's success for their son, and had hopes of achieving the same for their own children.
To help these young people, some suitable accommodation was required that would serve them in what they hoped to achieve. So much help was needed for these young people that Next Steps Development was created: a haven for young adults with additional needs. The aim was to provide each learner with a safe and happy environment where they could grow in confidence and learn valuable life skills, as well as giving them the opportunity to learn practical skills such as carpentry, catering, design and administration.
Next Steps Development was then formed, with a fantastic board of trustees who all share the same beliefs and goals needed to make the project a success.
Next Steps Development works in partnership with many other organisations, especially, but not exclusively, those in the disability sector. It continues to position itself to be innovative and respond to changing society's understanding of disability and creating mental health awareness in employment.
We specifically aim to:
Encourage and empower young adults by providing support and guidance to enable them to live safe and positive lives.
Champion awareness about the multiple and complex needs surrounding disability and additional support needs in employment.
Work in collaboration and partnership with other organisations and community groups, to promote disability and additional support needs in the community.
In-still confidence in our young people, helping them value themselves and others in the work that they do.
We offer supported work placements which suit and evolve their individual skills and vocations.
At Next Steps Development, we are committed to delivering "INSIGHT" to each individual.
Introducing New Skills, Inspiring Growth, Harvesting Talent