Carrickfergus Junior Gateway is a social space for young people with learning disabilities and special needs based in Carrickfergus, County Antrim. We have been running for over thirty years and in 2018 were delighted to be presented with the Queens Award for Voluntary Service. We put our young people at the heart of what we do, supporting and enabling them to have a voice throughout the major transition points in their lives.

We operate as two sessions throughout the school term: Junior for young people aged 6-18 running on Saturday mornings between 10am-1pm, and Crossroads for young people aged 16-29 running on Thursday evenings between 7pm-10pm. Membership comes from self/family referral to us (no social worker required) and consists of you paying us a visit and an informal conversation and tour of our club.

We are voluntary run and have a team of around thirty volunteers at all stages of life and professions. We can offer placements for school, getting back into work or for anyone who would like to come along and be part of our group. Qualifications aren’t required but if you have any we’d love to have a conversation of how you can use those while volunteering with us. We will run an Access NI check when you initially join and every couple of year subsequently.

We are proud to be a Network Partner of the Royal Mencap Society (http://www.mencap.org.uk) a national charity giving a voice to all those with a learning disability across the UK. Our voice is stronger when we lift it in partnership with others and we love getting involved with projects with other groups within the network.