Moving Forward, Moving On (MFMO)

The Extern Moving Forward Moving On project is part-funded through the Northern Ireland European Social Fund Programme 2014 – 2020 and the Department for the Economy.

The MFMO team

The MFMO team

What is MFMO?

MFMO works with young people aged 16-24 who are not in education, training or employment (NEET) and/or have a history of offending behaviour. It is a research and evidence-based model of working with young people.

The project currently works with 130 young people. In 2016 – 2017, 78 per cent of referrals presented with multiple barriers to progression, including self-harm, suicidal ideation, addiction, homelessness and a history of offending.

How are referrals made to MFMO?

Referrals can be made into the MFMO project by young people themselves, their parents/carers, or any other agency by contacting the Project Co-ordinator, Catriona Clifford on 02890 278189 or or by calling in to our offices at Unit 5, Nelson Trade Centre, Nelson Street, Belfast, BT15 1BH.

In 2017 the Education & Training Inspectorate Report for Moving Forward Moving On demonstrated the following outcomes -:

Overall Effectiveness High level of capacity for sustained improvement
Outcomes for learners Very Good
Quality of provision Very Good
Leadership and management Very Good

Positive Outcomes
In its report, in relation to Outcomes for Learners, it stated:

“Almost all of the participants demonstrate a positive disposition and engage well on the project. In particular, they report that they value highly the opportunities to overcome social isolation and develop friendships, and the help they receive to overcome and sustain progress in achieving their personal goals, for example, in abstaining from substance misuse and offending. Through participation in the project, the participants develop well their understanding of the triggers that contribute to their challenging behaviours, improve their confidence, self-esteem, and motivation, and develop their capacity to overcome their significant and often complex barriers to learning and employment.”

The full report is available at

So tell me a little bit more about how MFMO works

Since 2013 Extern has been providing transitional mentoring support, where we provide 'wraparound' support services to young people who face a variety of complex and interconnected issues.

Many of these issues require a diverse range of support.

There are three key elements involved in the Transitional Mentoring Support we offer:

1) Emotional Support
Aim: Mentors build up a relationship with each young person based on trust and respect, enabling them to turn to the mentor when they need to be listened to without judgement.

2) Informed Advice & Guidance
Aim: Mentors provide advice not only in relation to education, training & employment, but also on a range of other support services, including: housing, addiction & counselling. This provides participants with informed advice and guidance on which services they should go to, who is best to talk to, and what they need to say.

3) Hand-holding
Aim: For those young people who are vulnerable and/or lack the confidence to avail of different services and need more than just advice, mentors go with them to access adult services and help them fill in relevant forms. They call young people before and after appointments to remind them, and also encourage them to go and check on progress before planning next steps together.

For participants with a history of offending behaviour, a fourth element is included:

4) Desistance Programmes
Aim: Through individual personal development plans, using the ‘Keep & Stay’ interventive tool and through the ‘Choices’ 12 week group work programme, participants are given every possible opportunity to address their offending behaviour and be supported to live lives free from further offending.

For those with a high level of offending, up to, and including custodial sentencing, the ‘Keep’ element identifies how to manage the presenting offending behaviour in the immediate, whilst the ‘Stay’ element begins to address the underlying causal reasons for the behaviour. For those with low level offending, the Choices programme equips them with the knowledge and skills to make positive lifestyle choices and become active citizens within their own communities.

Further information
Further information on MFMO is available by calling Project Co-ordinator, Catriona Clifford on +44 (0)2890 278189 or or by calling in to our offices at Unit 5, Nelson Trade Centre, Nelson Street, Belfast, BT15 1BH.

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