"The Reid Family presentation given by siblings Mandy, Julie, Joanne and Sheree is the most powerful presentation’s I have ever heard whilst working at BACP. Feedback received from delegates was very positive and they really appreciated this very moving story on how to survive and be able to inspire many therapists to help others. A truly inspirational family!"

Kathy Roe, Events Developments Officer. British Association of Counselling & Psychotherapy

As Deputy Head with responsibility for pastoral care within the College, I felt that the training delivered by Jim and Mandy was truly excellent and very worthwhile. The trainers’ personal experiences and excellent workshop skills made the time in the training session fly by. I would definitely encourage using Achieve NI for delivering training sessions in future.
The trainers also gave us some strategies and scenarios which were very useful. I think it would be helpful for other schools to avail of this training so they feel better equipped in dealing with some of the issues faced by young people in our schools.

Mrs H Woods, Acting Principal. Victoria College, Belfast

"Achieve NI has worked in partnership with Belfast Boys’ Model School for the past two years. Throughout this period they have offered individual counselling to pupils, stress management programmes to a senior pupils and facilitated workshops on positive mental health and managing exam pressure. Both Mandy and Jim have been professional and courteous in their dealings with the school, pupils and their families. Their approach is person centred and they always have the interests of the client and pupils at heart in everything they do. We look forward to working with Achieve NI in the future."

C. Carlisle, Belfast Boys Model

"Achieve NI recently delivered an Emotional Health/Stress Management training programme to our staff. They were completely professional, but more than that they were friendly, approachable and made us feel comfortable sharing our thoughts and feelings on the different issues. A number of staff expressed their gratitude for the training sessions and one member of staff said, “Nice to take time to think about our own emotional health. The facilitators were very good and put everyone at ease. Our thanks to Jim and Mandy who have given us time and space to reflect on our own emotional needs and given useful strategies to enable us to continue to provide our young people with challenging and engaging learning experiences."

A. Irvine, Carrickfergus College

"We brought Mandy and Jim from Achieve NI in to address the whole subject of managing mental health issues. It was a great success and our Y14 pupils responded maturely and interactively to the workshop. What impressed us most was the clear breadth of knowledge and useful strategies that were shared and discussed with our pupils. As a Head of Sixth Form I am now much happier that we have touched on this subject in a way that was accessible for our pupils."

S. Brown, Head of Sixth Form, Antrim Grammar School

"Achieve NI gave presentations to all of Belfast High School Year 12, on the topic of self esteem / avoiding stress. Evaluation of the programme by pupils present showed that the talks had been very well received especially coming up to school 'mock' examinations and with current actual external modules taking place. Pupils found it very relevant and focused on their needs. It was appropriate for their age group and they enjoyed the light touch and the interesting,humorous but thought provoking way the material was presented. The best parts of the programme were those which dwelt on practical methods of combatting stress, and those on how to increase self esteem. The facilitators were very professional and 'tuned in' to the particular age group and were not patronising or boring. We would definitely use Achieve N.I. again."

Ms J Barkley, Year Teacher, Belfast High School.

"I would like to thank Mandy and Jim for the Peer Mediator training conducted through AchieveNI. It was very professional but at the same time delivered in a very warm and caring manner. There was a good mix of activities and consideration was given to the age of the girls and their varying academic abilities. The girls greatly enjoyed the training and definitely benefited both in helping to raise their own self-esteem and helping them to better understand their future role as Peer Mediator. I would have no hesitation in recommending this training to other schools."

L. Dalzell, Belfast Model School For Girls.

"Through our Full Service Extended School Programme, we have various remits, two being; health and wellbeing; secondly pupil engagement. As a school we are very proactive in partnering with like minded professional organisations in order to facilitate our needs for the benefit of the pupils, their families and wider communities. Therefore in partnering with Achieve NI we have found an organisation that shares the same professional outlook towards the provision as we do, Achieve NI currently provide one to one counselling services as well as crisis intervention and suicide awareness. We have plans to develop our working relationship over the next while in order to fully maximise our partnership."

D. Nixon, Full Service Extended School Co-ordinator, Belfast Boys' Model School.

"We used Achieve NI to deliver suicide awareness training to our staff. We found the information to be relevant and up to date. The matter was dealt with in a sensitive manner and staff felt supported to deal with the issue. The material was well presented with a variety of delivery methods used. While the material covered is challenging, staff left the training session better informed both in signs to look for and strategies to use."

R. Leeman, Vice Principal (Pastoral), Monkstown Community School.

"We found the Personal Development Programme for staff helped us take some time out to self-reflect and recognise the need for a healthy work life balance. Feedback from the group highlighted the Circle of Life principles around prioritizing to be useful. The Meditation and Art activities provided an opportunity to deepen our understanding of ourselves and provide quiet reflective time for staff. Mandy and Jim’s own experiences and personality played a major role in making the training successful."

G. Duffy, Vice Principal, Our Lady of Mercy Girls’ School.

"AchieveNI gave a half day presentation to all of Belfast High School Year 11, on the topic of alcohol / drugs and making choices. Evaluation of the students present showed that the talks had been very well received. Pupils commented that they found it interesting, formative and thought provoking. Many concluded with remarks such as: 'Just don't do drugs', 'Learned stuff I didn't know', 'Enjoyed the activities' and other very positive comments. Teachers present thought it was well presented and informative, and that the pupils' attention had been held by the interactive input in particular."

Ms J Barkley, Year Teacher, Belfast High School.

“We found that the Peer Mentoring programme delivered by Mandy and Jim was extremely stimulating in its content and delivered effectively. The structure of the programme was well balanced and we really enjoyed the interaction between trainers and participants. The feedback from groups in their evaluations was extremely positive with a high satisfaction rating."

Mr P McMeekin, Head of Pastoral Ministry, Edmund Rice College.

"At Ballyclare Secondary School, we had a desire to enhance our pastoral care provision with a Peer Mentoring Programme. However, the idea of equipping our students to be effective mentors while ensuring their own well-being was a little daunting. On the recommendation of our school counsellor we contacted AchieveNI. From the outset Mandy and Jim worked with us to tailor the training to the particular needs of our school. The students quickly built a rapport with them and responded well to the activities and roleplays the training guided them through. Our eleven Peer Mentors ended the final day of training with a warm vote of thanks for the time and efforts that AchieveNI had devoted to the sessions. Jim and Mandy left us with the assurance that they would only be a ‘phone call' away to support us as we embarked on this challenging but worthwhile new venture."

Ms L Collins, Health Promotion Officer, Ballyclare Secondary School.

Student Comments

"The experience od both days have not only taught me how to mentor, but has gave me the confidence to get straight into the scheme. I have a wonderful time with the best AchieveNI representatives. I will like this on facebook!"
Dean Goodall, Edmund Rice College.

"I really enjoyed the Peer Mentoring training with the several little exercises in-between the learning, it relaxed everyone and was nice to keep us concentrated and focused. The Power Point gave us important information and the content was great!"
Ballyclare Secondary School student.

"I have enjoyed the Peer Mentoring training very much and it has been very relaxed. I wouldn't change a thing. It was very well balanced, it wasn't just theory."
Ballyclare Secondary School student.

"I enjoyed the mindfulness and relaxation technique, it really helped me to relax and feel fresh. I like the way we were shown how to cope with problems and situations. It's good that we can make the school a more comfortable place for students, teachers and visitors."
Ballyclare Secondary School student.

"On behalf of Edmund Rice College, I just want to say this course is a brilliant opportunity to interact and learn new skills. Our principal, Mr friel would be very proud! As well as Mr Gough. Thank you for the opportunity."
Conor, Edmund Rice College.

"I loved the activities, structure and ice-breakers. Everything covered was understood well. The PowerPoint was well put together with relevant graphics. I feel the whole experience as a mentor will be enjoyable."
Ballyclare Secondary School student.

"I have really enjoyed the two days in which I have been with Mandy and Jim. It has benefited me as I got to know more about mentoring and its effect in a fun and interesting way. I really enjoyed the ice-breakers as it got us comfortable in the atmosphere."
Colm Mulvenna, Edmund Rice College student.

"I have really enjoyed the two days of the mentoring programme. There is nothing I would change. The first day was heavy, although there were ice-breakers and activities added to make it lighter. It was all overall excellent!"
Martin Cleary, Edmund Rice College student.

"I found the course to be very enjoyable and eye opening. The range of presentations helped to keep me focused and I really enjoyed it. I enjoyed the training. I thought it was fun, enjoyable and helpful. I learned a lot."
Terence McNamara, Edmund Rice College student.

I enjoyed the training a lot and think I have learned a lot more than expected. Mandy and Jim were very helpful and made this experience easier and I think they've helped me to become more prepared for the following situations."
Kevin Montague, Edmund Rice College student.

"Altogether the course was very understandable and helpful. As the course was very well organised and lots of different activities were involved it helped to keep the topic of the more serious information more excitable and interesting. Jim and Mandy were brilliant Mentors to us and sat a good example for us to follow. They made the course very smart but also more fun and they encouraged and coached us on which helped the team become better. Thanku."
Ashleigh McGrugan, Ballyclare Secondary School student.

"Jim and Mandy provided fantastic training due to their own experience and reflection. We were treated like adults and spoke to in the same manner, for me this is of utmost considering the responsibility we are about to take on."
David Kelly (Head Boy), Ballyclare Secondary School student.

"AchieveNI is run bt great people. They open your eyes and educate you in a fun, caring interactive way. I genuinely felt comfortable and supported by them. If you ever have the opportunity take part in this Peer Mentoring course.
Dylan McCrudden, Edmund Rice College student.

"I have found this course very interesting. It gives us the opportunity to help younger pupils with their problems and because everyone needs someone to talk too, it's very useful. The course covered all necessary skills and attitudes required for us to be able to do it to the best of our ability. I personally have learnt valuable life skills."
Ashlee Borland, Ballyclare Secondary School student.

"I really enjoyed the two days! Mandy and Jim were great fun and really made the two days fun and enjoyable! Given the opportunity, I would do it again. I think this will really benefit myself and the school! Really enjoyed it all!! Thanks."
Rachel Hill, Ballyclare Secondary School student.

"I found the course very insightful. I believe that it will help me with relationships in my personal life and has taught me to value peoples feelings as well as my own. Jim and Mandy really helped me to control my own feelings and to put the 'mentee' first." Ben McCausland, Ballyclare Secondary School student.