Dublin Simon Community wins AONTAS STAR Award

Dublin Simon Community is delighted to have had its services recognised at yesterday’s (04/03/2019) AONTAS STAR Awards. Their Participation and Development Service received the award under the Social Inclusion category for Large Organisations. The awards are co-ordinated as part of the annual Adult Learners’ Festival to acknowledge the work undertaken by adult learning initiatives throughout Ireland and celebrate the positive contribution that these initiatives make to individual adult learners, local communities and wider society.

The Dublin Simon Community Participation and Development Service is made up of Literacy and Personal Development and Client Involvement Services.

Welcoming the award, Participation and Development Manager with Dublin Simon Community, Sharon Keogh said:

“We are delighted to have had our Participation and Development receive an AONTAS Star Award and would like to thank everyone at AONTAS for their ongoing support. Our Participation and Development services aim to build confidence and develop skills through educational, employability, volunteering and involvement opportunities, classes and workshops. Our teams working across these services promote inclusion, choice and equality and that everyone has the right to a fulfilling life. The meaningful activities provided can be central in providing structure, independence and increasing self-confidence for people who are experiencing or have experienced homelessness.”

Michael, a client of Participation and Development services with Dublin Simon Community said:

“I started literacy and computer classes because I needed to learn new skills. I want to show other people they can do this too. The classes have helped my confidence and my ability to know I can push myself further. It’s been really positive. I want to share my experience so others can see that they can do this as well. I’m determined to keep going further with my education and go on to do a course in Social Work or Addiction Studies.”

Commenting on the Dublin Simon Community’s win, Niamh O’Reilly, CEO of AONTAS, said:

“There is no one-size fits all approach to engaging learners. If we are going to succeed in widening participation, we must champion the innovative approaches that adult learning initiatives are undertaking nationwide. Every year, the STAR Awards ceremony is a fantastic occasion to highlight and celebrate the positive impact adult and community education has on the lives of individuals, families and communities around Ireland.”

Dublin Simon Community’s Participation and Development service are also this week hosting an Information Morning and Printmaking Workshop as part of AONTAS’s The Adult Learners’ Festival (4th-8th March 2019). The theme of the festival is Every Day I’m Learning – to recognise the learning opportunities available to adults in their everyday lives.

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