AddictionSpotlight - Start360

Spotlight: Start360

27 March 2024

This month we catch up with Start360, a leading provider of support services to young people, adult offenders, and families across Northern Ireland.

Start360 was established in1993 to support young people, families and vulnerable adults who were disengaged from mainstream services and marginalised from their own lives and communities in North and West Belfast.  From the success of these services Start360 has been delivering services on a regional basis since 2000.

In the 2023-2023 financial year, Start360 worked with approximately 20,000 individuals and their families. Start360 offers 25 services across Northern Ireland employing approx. 90 staff.  Start360 has offices in Belfast (Headquarters), Ballymena, Lurgan, Derry/Londonderry and in the three prisons sites, (Maghaberry, Magilligan and Hydebank College) 

The person-centred approach used by Start360 encourages service users to work in partnership and to determine the direction of the work based on their own needs and goals, thus fully embracing the organisations mission statement and vision:

‘Change Starts Here’


‘Every Person Stronger’.


What Services do Start360 provide?

Start360 provide a range of services and interventions in the areas of Health, Justice, and Employability.


Health / Mental Health

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Connections North and South

Community Alcohol and Drugs Information and Networking Service – Northern Trust.

The Connections service works to develop and deliver drug and/or alcohol-related projects, events and initiatives. Connections works closely with local community groups and forums, service user representatives and/or networks and with drug and alcohol service providers to identify any emerging trends, issues of concern and gaps or pressures in service delivery.

DAISY Drug and Alcohol Intervention Service for Youth

Support for young people to reduce the harm caused by their substance abuse – Belfast & South-Eastern Trust, Northern Trust, and Western Trust.

DAISY provides information and advice on the effects of alcohol and drugs and works with clients on a one-to-one basis to reduce the harm caused by substance use. Our staff help clients to reduce risk taking behaviours, to sustain positive changes in their lives and to have healthier relationships.

“DAISY helped me to see that my drug use was out of control and impacting on my relationships. They listened to me and supported me to reduce my drug use and get back in touch with my family.”


Parenting rights and responsibilities awareness and 1-1 mentoring support for young fathers in the Belfast Trust area.

"This programme made me aware of my rights and helped me with support, becoming more confident as a father.”

Protect Life

Support for vulnerable young people who present with concerns around emotional health and well-being.

“Therapeutic Mentoring helped me to calm down, reflect and talk about how I was feeling about the problems that I have with relationships.”

Targeted Life Skills 

Delivers age-appropriate life skills and harm reduction programmes to vulnerable young people using, or at-risk of using substances – Northern Trust and Southern Trust.

“The Life Skills Service has really supported our students, they reported feeling more confident and able to deal with their emotions due to taking part in the programme.”

Voices Hidden Harm 

Support for young people and their families who have been impacted by the substance use of a parent or significant family member – Northern Trust and Western Trust.

“Me and my son had almost no relationship before he moved in with me (after his mum passed away) she had had substance use issues and this had caused my son serious issues and concerns. Through the work I was able to develop a relationship with my son and develop an understanding of his issues, concerns and fears.”


“My keyworker really helped me when I was going through a rough patch and needed someone to help and listen. She was brilliant from the first meeting. She took time to sit and listen to me, never judgemental and helped me with coping strategies to get me through difficult times and to help when I'm feeling anxious. I would always recommend her.”

Youth Engagement Service (YES)

Person-centred support and programmes for young people aged 11 – 25.

“Start360 YES is a safe space when I need somewhere to go to stop and think, when my head and my life are all mixed up and I don’t know where to turn next. There is always someone there to listen and talk to you and get help when needed.”



BHSCT Employability and Mentoring Services

The BHSCT Employability and Mentoring Service provides intensive employability support with case managed mentoring support for young people leaving care in Belfast.  These services support education, training and employment needs of care experienced young people.

“Helps take the responsibility of young people having to sort things out directly themselves”.

“Provides information in a way we would understand. Helps widen opportunities to meet goals”.

Switch onto Employment Programme 

Delivering Essential Skills qualifications in Literacy and Numeracy, up to and  including Level 2 as well as qualifications and skills building in Lifeskills, Employability and Youthwork for Economically Inactive (not claiming employment benefits) aged 16-30.

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Vison360 Learning Partnership Support 

At Vision360, we support employers and leaders to nurture thriving workplaces, with a strong focus on employee wellbeing and supportive skills development. Our broad expertise encompasses training in new employee workplace readiness, the development of bespoke team and personal wellness plans, communication skills learning, and trauma responsive organisational emotional health and crisis response planning. We are dedicated to fostering environments that champion equality, diversity, and inclusion, supporting organisations with essential training that will cultivate a compassionate and inclusive workplace where their people will flourish.




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Engage Women – PBNI

Support for women who have been in custody or have contact with the criminal justice system. The service supports women to address barriers to growth and development while reconnecting with their own lives and aspirations.

“I felt safe to talk about my life, took me a few times to trust the worker, other mental health workers didn’t listen in the same way, didn’t make me feel like my life was wrong and I was broken. Helped me see that I was worth something, my childhood hadn’t been great, and I’ve made some bad decisions but was made to feel I was still a good person.”


The Ad:ept Service

Support for individuals in custody who have issues with drugs and/or alcohol.

“They helped me to see that I can do it, that just because I’ve failed in the past, doesn’t mean I will always fail”.


Mentoring and Advocacy Service

Support service available to every individual within Hydebank Wood Secure College and Women’s Prison.

"I was really anxious when I first came in and they came to see me. They explained what the process was in a way I understood. I saw them every week for 12 weeks for Mentoring. They still come over to check on me and see I am ok”.



Support for ex-service members who have been in custody or had contact with the criminal justice service.

“My keyworker understood my unique situation and engaged with discretion".

Support Hub

The Support Hub provides support to ex-offenders who have been in contact with the justice system. Support Hub is a collaborative service working along with Prison Arts Foundation and Community Sports Network.

“The Support Hub helped me gain more confidence and feel more comfortable in such an unfamiliar environment.” (The client is referencing, resettlement support in the community and living in a hostel).

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The THRIVE services is a transition service supporting individuals leaving custody at risk of self-harm and suicide.

“I can’t put a price on what you do for me”


How do I contact or refer into a Start360 service?

You can contact them directly from the Find Help Near Me Directory - Here's their profile which includes various ways that you can reach out to them today.

If you aren't ready to reach out today, be sure to follow them on their social media channels so that you can keep an eye out for services or events near you. If you think a friend may find their services helpful, you could text them a link to their profile so that when ready, they can reach out for help or support.


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Where is Start360 located?

Start360 headquarters can be found at 6-10 William Street Belfast BT1 1PR with regional offices throughout Northern Ireland. Find Start360 regional office details here!


What does working for Start360 mean? 

Claire from the Targeted Lifeskills Service in the Northern Trust gives us an insight into what working for Start360 means for her and what a typical week in the life of her service looks like.

Start360 | A week in the Life of a Targeted Life Skills Key worker 


Volunteer for Start360

Start360 recognises the important contribution volunteering makes to individuals, communities and wider society and looks to promote volunteering opportunities across all its services. We are committed to building up our volunteers skills and employability. Many of our staff started their caring careers through volunteering opportunities - building confidence & self-esteem; improving emotional health & well-being; learning new skills; gaining experience and developing a sense of purpose.

"I know I can use my life experience to do good. All I want to do is help people get through what I got through. All I've ever wanted was a chance, I don't think anyone has ever given me a chance, but I have a chance now - I'm not going to let that slip through my fingers"

If you're interested in volunteering for Start360 please contact Johnny Moore on 028 9043 5810 or for more information

Get Inspired Further

lets talk about addiction

Addiction is a craving for a substance or behaviour, finding temporary relief or pleasure in using or engaging in it, while suffering negative consequences or harm as a result and still continuing, unable to give it up. 

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Narcotics Anonymous is a non-profit fellowship of recovering addicts who meet regularly to help each other stay clean.

Admitting I had a Problem

A local businessman who bravely shares his inspiring tale of confronting and triumphing over addiction with the help of family, friends and Find Help NI.


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