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Four Belfast adult education initiatives shortlisted for Ulster STAR Award

17 Feb 2012 02:09 PM

Four Belfast adult education initiatives have been shortlisted for AONTAS STAR Awards in the Ulster Category. The Belfast Met Family Learning Programme, the NICVA run Level 3 Award in Effective Management, the Healthier Lives for Deaf and Hard of Hearing People, and NIAMH (the Northern Ireland Association for Mental Health) have all been singled out. The winner will be announced at the STAR Awards Ceremony on February 20th.

The STAR Awards recognise outstanding examples of adult education in Ireland. This year five Awards will be given - four provincial awards and one nationwide award. The STAR Awards is now in its sixth year, with the number of entries increasing from last year. This year AONTAS received 119 entries from adult education organisations all around the country.

The shortlist was developed by an Independent Judging Panel, who will now hit the road to meet with the ten hopeful groups. 'The judging panel has had to make some tough decisions this year' said AONTAS Director Berni Brady. 'There were 18 projects nominated in this category, out of which seven made the shortlist. It's a real credit to organisations working in Belfast. 'These projects are great examples of the diversity of adult learning' said AONTAS Director Berni Brady.

The next judging phase involves regional meetings with the shortlisted projects. During these meetings, organisations will be given the opportunity to talk to the judging panel and show why they should receive a STAR Award. 'We're encouraging the shortlisted groups to bring learners who have benefited from their services, or to show some of the work that they have done,' explained Ms Brady. The judges will then make a decision on a winner and a highly commended award in that category and the names will be held secret until the ceremony.

The judges will meet with shortlisted projects in the Ulster Category at the EGSA (Educational Guidance Services for Adults) Offices, Belfast, on Thursday February 9th from 1pm to 3pm.

For more information/ contact
Niamh Farren, Communications Officer, AONTAS 01 406 8220/087 911 0569
Note to Editor
1. The STAR Awards is an initiative organised by AONTAS, the National Adult Learning Organisation. The Awards showcase teamwork and award recognition to adult learning organisations. More information about the awards and the Adult Learners' Festival is available from

2. Award winners will be announced at the ceremony on February 20th at the Burlington Hotel, Dublin.