Extern's History

Extern’s Historical Milestones


Extern and Extern Ireland re-structure creating the Extern Group, Extern Northern Ireland and Extern Ireland.


Through the Big Lottery Fund/Realising Potential programme, funding is secured to replicate the Multi-Systemic Therapy programme in the Belfast and Health and Social Care Trusts , and provide a new service model in Belfast through the Kinship Fostercare Project.

Extern Recycle commences training services to pre-release prisoners in HMP Maghaberry.


Extern Organisation achieves ‘Steps to Excellence: Bronze’ award in the Northern Ireland Quality Awards, Investors in People: Bronze accreditation and wins a Regional National Quality Award for its work in the Pathways Alternative Education Project.


Extern is appointed as one of three organisations to provide services to young people as part of the Northern Ireland Early Intervention Strategy for the Prevention of Offending, providing the Strength to Strength project in the WHSCT and SEHSCT regions.


Dismas House – a 14 bed probation approved unit working with offenders – is acquired, making Extern the largest provider of probation approved beds in Northern Ireland.

Launch of Extern Recycle – a social enterprise providing supported training to homeless adults through recycling and refurbishment of Waste Electrical and Electronic Waste, based in Mallusk.


Following extensive consultations and review of the Belfast Homeless Strategy, the Homeless Support Team is expanded to work with adults with a range of complex needs that impact on their homelessness and is renamed the Multi-Disciplinary Homeless Support Team.

Extern Ireland starts service provision, working with the Traveller Community in the Cavan region.


With the continuing growth of services and following considerable support from the Health Service Executive in Ireland, Extern Ireland is formed and incorporated in March 2004, providing services in the Dublin, Mid Leinster, North East and Western regions.

The 109 Hostel is replaced by the Innis Centre, a purpose built, probation approved20 bed unit to accommodate adult offenders newly released from custody.


Inside Out – intensive bail support for young people. This project was established to meet a need identified in the Youth Justice System and to prevent custodial disposals.


The Floating Support was developed from the 109 Hostel in recognition of a need for on-going support for ex-offenders resettling in the community.


Extern starts the Pathways programme – an Alternative Education Programme for Year 12s who has been excluded from schools – operational in the north Belfast area.


‘Need to Know’ projects grew out of the Safer Towns initiatives. These community safety and community development projects worked in 7 different parts of Derry/Londonderry, Belfast and Newtownabbey.

Youth Support and Time Out projects begin to be developed in Belfast reflecting the model that has been successful in the North and West of Northern Ireland.

The Roscor Youth Village opened outside Belleek, Co Fermanagh.


The Homeless Support Team is created to support complex needs of the service users, especially related to mental illness, supported by the NI Housing Executive and Belfast Health & Social Care Trust.


Another great leap forward came with Extern’s move into the Republic of Ireland. The early stages saw Extern operating in Ireland in the North Western Health Board.


In 1985 an office was established in Derry/Londonderry and Children’s Services began with Youth Support, Passport and the beginnings of the Youth Village concept originally at Killadeas, Fermanagh.


Extern Restyle opens providing vocational training to offenders newly released or preparing for release from prison. The project also provided temporary employment through the Action for Community Employment scheme in the workshops and through two retail outlets in Belfast.

Extern went on to develop Chatham House Training which provided training to Youth and Job Training entrants to the employment market, ages 16-17 years. This continued until 1999.


109 Hostel – a 9 bed probation approved unit – opens to accommodate offenders with very complex needs and/or who presented a high risk.


Extern was officially founded in May 1978 to influence the criminal justice system in Northern Ireland. A small group of people believed the system in existence at the time was ineffective and were committed to changing it.

The organisation moved into service delivery within a year. The first project was the Ormeau Centre. The project provided and still provides services for the single homeless adults with complex needs. It began on the Ormeau Road, Belfast.

Extern in Northern Ireland
Registered with the Charity Commission for Northern Ireland NIC105869
Company Registration No: NI 16083
Tel: +44 (0)28 9084 0555
Fax: +44 (0)28 9084 7333
Extern in the Republic of Ireland
Company Registration No: 383201
Registered Charity Number: 20055318
Tel: +353 (0) 1 563 9402
Extern Group
Registered with The Charity Commission for Northern Ireland NIC103226
Company No. NI 618684
Tel: +44 (0)28 9084 0555
Fax: +44 (0)28 9084 7333
Extern Supporting Communities
Company No. NI 637561
Tel: +44 (0)28 9084 0555
Fax: +44 (0)28 9084 7333