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National Learning Network is a 'Star'

02 March 2010
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National Learning Network was recognised by Aontas and was awarded a STAR Award for Adult Learning Projects in Dublin this week.  The Focus Programme run by National Learning Network in Limerick won the award in the Regional Munster category.

The programme was set-up as a result of a review of Mental Health Services carried out by National Learning Network and the HSE which recommended an increase in the provision of appropriate training for people with mental ill-health. A key element of this review was the recognition of the need for a more community-based approach to the provision of training in mental health services in the Mid-West region.

The award won by the Focus programme acknowledged the contribution that the programme has made to its participants lives.  Minister for Lifelong Learning, Sean Haughey TD, who officially opened the Festival, said 'In relation to the real stars today - you, the learners - I want to heartily congratulate each and every one of you on your significant achievement. You should feel very proud of your success.'

Speaking after the ceremony, Lisa Haugh, Area Manager at National Learning Network, Limerick gave credit to its trainees and the staff who together facilitate learning and progression on a daily basis.  She went on to say that the programme’s success was also due to the strong partnership that had been forged with the HSE in supporting both staff and trainees on the programme as well as providing ongoing funding.  “We are delighted that the work of our trainees and staff has been recognized by the National Adult Learning Organisation and this will motivate us to continue to provide innovative and relevant training for our participants”.


National Learning Network – Focus Programme
The aim of this programme is to empower participants with mental ill health to avail of opportunities to enhance their personal development, community integration, vocational orientation and physical and mental well-being. The design of the programme strives to provide and deliver a meaningful and holistic service to people with mental ill health in their own community. The Focus programme endeavours to improve the quality of its participants’ life through social interventions leading to greater inclusion, integration and destigmatisation.

Aontas is the National Adult Learning Organisation, a voluntary membership organisation. It exists to promote the development of a learning society through the provision of a quality and comprehensive system of adult learning and education, which is accessible to and inclusive of all.

The Star Awards

The awards, which are now running for the fourth year, celebrate teamwork, and recognise the achievements of those involved in adult learning in a variety of settings around the country.  The awards ceremony took place on Monday February 22nd 2010 at the Royal College of Physicians where the winners were announced.

The ceremony marked the official opening of the Adult Learners' Festival 2010 - a week-long event which aims to highlight the benefits of adult learning. This years' Festival will promote the theme of collaboration between the main organisations responsible for the delivery of training and education for adults. The Festival is supported by the Department of Education and Science, FETAC, ASTI, the TUI and Participating organisations include local VECs and adult education centres, community groups, as well as The Library Council, GIY Ireland, and the Small Firms Association.

For more information contact

Lisa Haugh, National Learning Network (087) 6897744