Moving On Programme Celebrate their AONTAS STAR Award Win

18 Apr 2018
The ‘Moving On’ Programme, Blayney Blades celebrated their recent achievement of winning an AONTAS STAR Award on Tuesday 10th April by hosting a celebratory lunch for past and present students in the Iontas centre, Castleblayney, Co. Monaghan.

The Moving On Programme, Blayney Blades celebrated their recent achievement of winning the regions first ever AONTAS STAR Award in the Wellbeing Category. The winners of the AONTAS STAR Awards were announced at a special ceremony in Number 6, Kildare Street, Dublin on the 5th March, officiated by RTÉ sports presenter, Marty Morrissey. The STAR Awards (Showcasing Teamwork, Awarding Recognition) are an awards initiative organised by AONTAS to recognise and celebrate the work undertaken by adult learning initiatives throughout Ireland.

The Moving On Programme won an AONTAS STAR Award in the Wellbeing, Small & Medium Organisation category. The initiative provides training to those with no formal qualifications, in health-related fitness, food and nutrition, work experience, communications, human biology, IT skills, word processing, computer applications and personal effectiveness. AONTAS was delighted to attend this very special occasion which also marked 20 Years of the Moving On Programme. A number of other stakeholders were also in attendance including representatives from Cavan and Monaghan ETB and the Blayney Blades Board. 

Martina Quinn, Chairperson of Blayney Blades

The event was opened by Martina Quinn chairperson of Blayney Blades who thanked the attendees and talked about the transformation of the course in the last number of years. She praised the great work that coordinator Barry Dolan and assistant coordinator Laura Denny have accomplished in their years at the helm of Monaghan's longest running adult community education programme. She highlighted the extensive work in learner development opportunities created by the coordinators including; community involvement, work with national sporting bodies, learner wellbeing and the steady rise of progression rates since 2014 to over 90%+.

Barry Dolan, 'Moving On' Programme Coordinator

Barry Dolan, the Programme Coordinator thanked everyone for attending and for all the support offered by Blayney Blades, Cavan Monaghan Education Training Board (CMETB) and AONTAS. "The winning of the AONTAS STAR Award is something that everyone involved in the programme will be able to put on their CV. It is a recognition of excellence and to win it in such a strongly contested category as Wellbeing is even more rewarding."

Deirdre O’Callaghan, of Cavan Monaghan Education Training Board 

Deirdre O’Callaghan's enthusiasm for the ‘Moving On’ project was evident as she mentioned her fond memories of past STAR Award nominations. She congratulated the programme, staff and students in particular for their excellent achievement. "To bring a National AONTAS STAR Award to the CMETB region is unquestionability one of the biggest achievements the 'Moving On' Programme has ever accomplished"

Katie O' Rourke, Communications Lead AONTAS

Katie O’Rourke, Communications Lead of AONTAS gave a motivational speech on the achievement of the ‘Moving On’ Programme and the work of AONTAS. Her insightful contribution to proceedings highlighted the STAR Award's intensive selection process.

"We received a large number of applications nationwide and our independent judges were very impressed with the standard of programmes. Seeing all of the efforts from the students today shows clearly why the ‘Moving On’ programme were deserving recipients. The work Barry, Laura and the staff have achieved with their learners who come from all over Monaghan is very impressive".

This one a of kind Local Training Initiative (LTI) is a fantastic example of the power of partnership within a community. To find out more about the work of Blayney Blades and the Moving On Programme visit: