Stepping Stone House (SSH) is required by the Office of Children’s Guardian as part of our accreditation manual, to provide young people with educational information regarding, sexual health, safety, nutrition, and legal etc. These workshops are organised and planned by SSH staff and run during Monday and Wednesday evening activities. The purpose of these workshops is to provide young people with information, an opportunity to discuss issues and ask questions on topics that concern them and affect them.
As part of this, the young people of SSH are encouraged to talk with staff or place a suggestion in the SSH Suggestion Box on topics and issues they would like information on and wish to discuss.
SSH believes that education is the key to making safe, informed and beneficial choices.
As one may say: food is the way to a heart!
When you accomplish something, don't you feel better? Your self-esteem rises and you can be rightfully proud of your accomplishment. Cooking is a terrific method of building confidence and self-esteem, because it has very tangible, very real rewards that are produced in a short time period. Perhaps this is why so many people of all ages like to cook.
Not only do cooking classes provide young people with cooking skills for when they live independently, but also they develop skills such as organisation, teamwork, reading, improvisation, creativity to be learnt and practised by the young people. In addition, cooking classes allow for SSH to pass on important information about healthy eating and nutritious foods and provides young people with a way to absorb this information that is fun, exciting and fulfilling.
Cooking classes that SSH have done are:
• Homemade Pizza’s
• Chinese New Year Dishes
• Irish Stews
• Vietnamese Food
• Healthy school / work lunches
• Healthy breakfast
• Healthy mocktails
and many more!
"Food is a central activity of mankind and one of the single most significant trademarks of culture"
Mark Kurlansky, 'Choice Cuts' (2002)
Cooking classes also allow SSH to involve young people in their culture and expose them to other cultures. As such, SSH will often hold culturally specific cooking classes to celebrate cultural events, such as Chinese New Year, Multicultural Week, etc. These events are usually combined with an activity that celebrates these cultural events, such as Chinese lantern making etc.
Health, exercise and nutrition are an important part of a healthy, safe and productive lifestyle. SSH health workshops allow the young people to clarify their understanding of how the body works and what they can do to maintain a healthy body and mind.
SSH understands that the mind and body are linked and to keep them both healthy it is important to understand how the body works. These workshops include information on:
• Cardiovascular, digestive and respiratory systems
• Bones, muscles and joints
• Good nutrition
• Exercise techniques, including the importance of warm-ups and cool-downs
• Good fitness
• Proper and effective mouth, ear, eye and skin care
• How to protect from skin cancer, tooth decay, damaging hearing and eyesight
• Personal hygiene
• The importance of a healthy sleeping pattern
• Sexual health
• Mental health
• Stress management – how to identify stress, and how to manage this.
Personal safety is vital to maintain a healthy and fulfilling lifestyle, but safety can often be a difficult and confusing issue for young people. This is for a variety of reasons, including their natural development, lack of information or resources but most importantly, many of the young people in SSH’s care have been raised in unsafe environments and do not really know or understand what safety is, what it means and how to keep themselves safe. SSH’s Safety Workshops provide young people with information about safety and an opportunity to discuss concerns, clarify information and understand and learn new skills around safety. The types of safety workshops run include:
• Alcohol and other drugs
• Safe use of the internet
• What is Identity Theft and how to protect you from it
• Travel safety
• Relationship Safety
• Sexual health
• Mobile phone safety
Relationships can be hard and confusing for young people and this includes relationships with family, friends and a prospective partner. Relationships skills are learnt over time, however many of the young people in SSH’s care have not had many examples of healthy and beneficial relationships in their lives and as such, have a more difficult time understanding what constitutes this kind of relationship. SSH runs workshops including:
• Sexual Health
• How to build relationships
• What relationships mean
• What makes a good relationship
• Conflict resolution
• What are boundaries and how do people set them
• How to maintain friendships
• How to be a good friend
• Interpersonal skills
Young people have legal rights and responsibilities, just like adults, however they do not necessarily know or fully understand what these are. As such SSH delivers workshops on issues such as:
• Legal rights and responsibilities
• Tenancy rights and responsibilities
• Illegal downloading
• Drag racing
• Alcohol and other drugs
• What are your rights if you are arrested
• Where can young people go for legal advice
• How do you report a crime
All this is vital information in the society in which we live. As young people get older, their responsibility to know and understand the laws that govern them becomes greater and the acceptance of "mistakes" becomes less likely. These workshops allow staff to provide young people with information regarding their legal rights and responsibilities, or organise for a guest speaker to do so and also provide young people with a safe and comfortable environment in which to discuss elements of the law which they perhaps don't quite understand.
Just for Fun!
Not all workshops are about serious and difficult issues. Some workshops are about having a little of fun, and allowing young people to be a little silly, or creative. Activities such as:
• Face painting
• Jewellery making
• Card making
• Pamper nights
These activities allow for the young people to “let their hair down” whilst also providing them with an opportunity to learn a new hobby, develop a new skill, or find a new way to spend some time.
As you can appreciate running all these workshops requires additional resources and materials. If you would like to volunteer your time and skills for a workshop, please contact the manager, Finn Callanan on
and if you would like to donate funds to assist SSH in continuing to provide such workshops, please click the DONATE button.