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Minister Opens New National Learning Network Premises in Mallow

21 March 2014
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Minister of State, Department of Enterprise, Jobs & Innovation and Department of Education & Skills, Sean Sherlock TD today officially opened the new premises of National Learning Network’s Pathways programme at Springmount Business Centre, Market Square, Mallow. The one year rehabilitative training programme for people with an injury, illness, disability or mental health difficulty which has been delivered at the Youthreach Centre,Ballyyellis, Mallow for the past eight years and for the four years prior to that from a mobile training unit, will now be offered from the new town centre premises.

 The Pathways programme, which is funded by the HSE, has been running in Mallow since 2001. It is designed to help people to take stock of where they are at in their lives and to provide them with a range of personal, social and work-related skills so as to enable them to progress to greater levels of independence and community integration. It focuses on the needs of each person through a person centre plan and offers various modules including Stress Management, Mental Health Management, Independent Living Skills, Creative Skills, Job-Seeking Skills and Computer Skills. Over 200 people have completed the programme since its inception, and many have gone on to study at in 3rd level, PLC’s, vocational training units and the VEC’s (now ETB) while others have gone onto various forms of employment and community work.
PJ McAree, took part in the programme ten years ago when he was affected by MS. The MS in turn brought depression into his life. He shared his experience of the programme with those attending the opening. He said, “I will forever be indebted to Pathways and the National Learning Network, they gave me a second chance at life. Since I completed it I have been working at the Rapid programme in Mallow Town Council”.
Speaking at the launch of the new premises, Minister of State for Research and Innovation at the Department of Enterprise, Jobs & Innovation and Department of Education & Skills, Sean Sherlock TD said, “I am delighted to officially open the new home of the Pathways programme. Over the last twelve years the programme has provided invaluable support to people in Mallow and North Cork who needed additional support in finding the right pathway in life for them. The success of the programme has been highlighted here today by the outstanding testimonials by people who completed the Pathways programme and are now successfully pursuing their dreams of further education and training and more importantly playing a role in their local communities.”
Noel Shannon, Area Manager, National Learning Network, Cork said, “The Pathways programme is based on people and on communities and since we started out, the people of Mallow have been incredibly supportive of the work we do. From the days of the mobile unit when we took the training to the people in rural areas who were is isolated, to our years in the Youthreach centre and now to our new premises here in Market Square, we have always valued being part of the community. We in turn are helping those who feel secluded due to isolation, disability, medical condition or mental health issue to find the confidence to take the next step in educational or employment and to part their part in community life.”
National Learning Network, in partnership with Cork Education & training Board (CETB) and the Health Service Executive (HSE), provides full-time rehabilitative and employment training courses for persons with additional support needs due to injury, illness or disability to over 300 people at its centres in Mallow, Hollyhill, Model Farm Road and Penrose Wharf in Cork City, Bantry and Clonakilty in West Cork, Midleton, and Carrigaline.