Our commitment

To provide quality learning opportunities that inspire and encourage every young person to value learning and to achieve their true potential.

Every one deserves an opportunity

Established in 2001, Equilibrium is a not-for-profit Community Interest Company dedicated to the basic principle that every one deserves an opportunity. We specialise in working in partnership with other agencies to offer support services and practical help to young people at risk of exclusion.  Our work is predominantly delivered in Dorset.

There are many different reasons why children and young people can become disengaged or alienated from the rest of society. They may have problems at home or unrecognised learning difficulties.  For some, it’s simply the case that school just isn’t working for them. Whatever the cause, they can become caught up in a cycle of self-defeating attitudes and behaviour that often lead to long-term exclusion. 

We offer effective interventions for such young people who are likely to be wary of authority, disengaged and ‘hard-to-reach’. 

Learning For Life

The work we deliver is ‘young person centred’.  What this means is that we focus on the individual and provide creative solutions with them, rather than for them.

Our emphasis on mentoring helps children and young people overcome social, emotional and behavioural problems which create barriers to learning, achievement and general well-being.

The process is simple and works like this :

We look for ways to inspire young people by identifying their true potential.
We provide appropriate programmes to develop the necessary skills.
We give them the encouragement and support they need to achieve success.

It’s all about learning for life. The most important skills we can learn are the ones that build our social and emotional confidence; the skills that give us the best chance of a happy and successful life long after we’ve left school.

Working Together

Equilibrium works in partnership with a wide range of professional agencies. We collaborate with schools, youth and community services, social care and health services, police, local authorities, volunteers and parents to add value to existing services.

Our experienced team can deliver the following :

Group work
Residential group work
Training (for young people and adults working with them) 
Evaluation (including participation of young people as evaluators)
Research (including participation of young people as researchers)


We strive to innovate and develop best practice in work with young people. We are always willing to discuss any potential piece of work or offer advice without obligation. We can provide consultation on the best way to address challenging problems and propose creative solutions to effectively engage young people, particularly those most difficult to reach.


Learning Mentoring

A Learning & Development Worker is allocated to a pupil as part of the Individual Education Plan process.  Following the planning meeting, we will seek to engage pupils in a regular session (usually 2½ hours once or twice a week).  Initially this time is spent getting to know each other, developing a positive working relationship and informing a Personal Development Plan.  Subsequently session time is spent on activities working towards specific learning outcomes and achievable targets in line with the pupil’s Individual Education Plan.  Examples are :

  • Gaining confidence
  • Developing social skills
  • Moderating behaviour
  • Finding constructive leisure activities
  • Understanding emotions

A team approach

We work closely with education providers (and other professionals where appropriate) towards ensuring that each pupil gets the best quality education and opportunities to achieve their true potential.


We use a variety of resources with pupils to facilitate self awareness and to assist in planning for positive change.

What young people can expect

We offer opportunities to learn about yourself and those around you through new challenges with plenty of fun thrown in as well.  Our experienced and skilled Learning & Development Workers will listen and take your views seriously and can offer support and advice where necessary.


We are an approved centre with ABC Awards, a national awarding organisation with a portfolio of flexible, vocational qualifications designed by industry professionals. We can offer a number of qualifications in Employability Skills which are designed to teach learners how to search and apply for jobs, in addition to developing skills to maintain employment.

Group work

Equilibrium offers a range of group work with young people.  For example :

  • Thinking about Thinking - a 12 week programme about developing social and communication skills around positive decision-making.
  • Understanding Anger - a 6 week programme to develop emotional awareness and develop strategies to cope with emotionally stressful situations.
  • Peer Mentoring - a flexible programme promoting positive shared values and personal responsibility for the wellbeing of others.
  • PSHRE & Citzenship - we can offer one-off or regular input for Personal, Social, Health and Religious Education and Citizenship lessons.  Much of our Learning Mentoring work with individual pupils covers issues relevant to these curriculum areas.
  • Bespoke groupwork - we have experience in developing groupwork programmes to meet specific needs.  
  • Residential groupwork - we have considerable experience in delivering residential groupwork, particularly with young people with additional support needs.