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National Learning Network: Providing a Pathway to a New Future

12 March 2010

National Learning Network: Providing a Pathway to a New Future

Friday, 12th March 2010: Are you experiencing mental health difficulties? Do you have a learning or physical disability? If so, the Pathways programme, run by National Learning Network in Co. Cork, may be able to help you.

Based in Mallow and offered in partnership with the Health Service Executive (HSE), National Learning Network’s Pathways programme aims to empower people with mental health issues, learning disability or physical health difficulties to achieving greater levels of personal development, community integration and physical and mental well-being.

Over the past four years, more than 200 people have completed the one-year Pathways programme, many of whom have moved on to employment or further education/training on completion of their training.

According to one former participant, the programme has helped her on her road to recovery from mental health. “I came to this course pretty shattered.  However, as each new day passed I started to regain a little confidence, and I got better at concentrating on the different topics. I will leave the course a lot more enriched, with a broader range of abilities.”

Detailing the programme, Padraig Healy, Assistant Manager, National Learning Network, Hollyhill, says, “Pathways consists of four core elements: personal development, community integration, physical and mental well-being and vocational exploration. These are offered in centres where the environment is relaxed, safe and supportive.

“At the start of the programme, participants complete a ‘community mapping exercise’ of the resources and facilities available within their own community, and then tap into these as the year goes on. A wide variety of activities from cookery to art and music classes are available, and participants can work at their own pace, achieving FETAC and ECDL certification along the way, if they so wish.

The social element of the course is hugely important and participants can go on a variety of day trips and have the opportunity to share their experiences with others.”

Commenting on the programme, another participant says, “I have gained a lot of confidence since starting this course.  Getting out and meeting people has helped with my depression – talking to people with the same problems has helped.  Being in good company has restored some of the old me.”

Anybody over the age of 16 is eligible to apply, and applications can be made direct to National Learning Network in Hollyhill, Cork City by telephoning (021) 4300144, or by contacting the Pathways team directly on 087 6677002 / 087 9177873.




For Further Information:

Padraig Healy, Assistant Manager, National Learning Network, Hollyhill
Tel: (087) 9177873, email: