About Us

STEP is a registered charity (#1176672) providing a safe and supportive environment for children and young people aged between 7 and 18.


What is STEP?

STEP is a registered charity, providing a safe and supportive environment for children and young people aged 7 – 18, who are experiencing isolation and exclusion due to either their lack of social skills, personal circumstances or poverty, living in Swindon or the wider community. We work creatively using therapeutic group work sessions to enable children and young people to make a positive contribution to society through the delivery of life and social skills, with recognition of achievement through accreditation whenever possible.

To Parents/Carers

Our first priority is your child’s welfare and therefore there may be occasions when our concern about your child means that we have to consult other agencies before we contact you. The procedures we follow have been laid down by the South West Child Protection Procedures www.swcpp.org.uk. If you want to know more about this procedure, please speak to the designated lead for Child Protection – Paul Dobson – Project Manager.

STEP is for young people with mild-moderate needs who would benefit from short-term group work

Young people attend a 2-hour session one evening per week around specific themes such as anger management, building confidence and keeping safe, met through activities like art, discussion and games. Programmes run in line with school term times.

We also run a Saturday Project for young people with additional needs.

STEP also runs activities in the school holidays, when funding allows, for those young people who have already been referred.



The Organisation

STEP is a Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO), registered charity number 1176672. Our staff team, group volunteers and young people are involved in STEP because they choose to be. STEP maintains a small and well-qualified team of paid professionals whom aid the planning of the future of STEP, administer the projects’ and provide advice and support to service-users, all overseen by a group of 5 Trustees (adult volunteers).

The Service

STEP works with young people to help them build essential skills and to be able to manage their own lives more effectively. These skills include assertiveness, anger management, self-confidence/esteem, communication and teamwork. STEP provides a range of projects that use activities young people want and agree beforehand, to look at, and deal with, significant issues in their lives.

STEP believes that a small group of young people, staff and adult volunteers meeting on a regular basis is one of the most beneficial environments for young people to discover and nurture their abilities, manage anxieties and learn to cope better in everyday life. For this provision to be successful, STEP recognises that a climate of trust and confidentiality is essential, and has a set of clear boundaries that must be adhered to.

The Young People

STEP appreciates each young person as a unique individual and a valuable member of the Project. STEP recognises that young people from the age of seven are in an important developmental stage in their lives and therefore respects their ideas and decisions. STEP works with young people to develop their voice both within the Project and as members of the wider community.

The Wider Context

STEP acknowledges the important responsibilities as an employer and a service provider to all – regardless of gender, race, colour, class, background, religion, status or sexual orientation.

STEP also appreciates the valuable contribution of other agencies to the welfare of young people, their parents/carers and their families.

STEP is an independent charity governed by a constitution, an aim and objectives. These provide essential terms of reference within which the Project can offer its service.

To whom does STEP provide a service?

Young men and young women aged 7 to 18 years at the time of entry into the project. They will have displayed one or more of the following difficulties:

Low confidence/self-esteem

Victim of bullying

Unable to safely manage their anger

Struggling with anxiety

Making un-safe choices / not understanding the consequences of their actions

Lack of positive role models

Problems at home e.g. family health, financial/housing worries

Struggling at school / learning difficulties

Relationship / trust issues

STEP is designed to help young people needing additional support in their lives, as a diversion from offending and isolation.

STEP is not an appropriate service for young people needing a greater level of support or one-to-one work.