Reaching for the Stars

6 Mar 2018
The AONTAS STAR Awards 2018 took place in Number 6 Kildare Street on the 5th March 2018.
AONTAS STAR Awards 2018

Congratulations to the winners of the AONTAS STAR Awards 2018. The winners were announced at a special ceremony in Number 6, Kildare Street, Dublin on Monday 5th March, officiated by RTÉ sports presenter, Marty Morrissey. The STAR Awards (Showcasing Teamwork, Awarding Recognition) acknowledges the great work that is happening in adult, further and community education across the country.

Adult Learning Initiatives that Promote the Learner Voice - Winner

St Catherine’s Community Service Centre, Carlow were awarded for their ‘Making Connections, Learning and Training’ initiative, which provides one-to-one training programmes in employability skills for people recovering from addiction and substance misuse.

Adult Learning Initiatives that Promote Digital Inclusion - Winner

An Cosán, based in Tallaght, Dublin were awarded for their ‘Digital Pathways Programme’. This initiative supported 250 individuals from disadvantaged communities to access I.T. and employability workshops.

Adult Learning Initiatives that Promote Wellbeing, Large Organisation - Winner

Soilse, based in Dublin 1 were awarded for their programme working with those in recovery. The programme, run by the HSE, provides group and one-to-one work workshops for learners which facilitates a personal learning journey, transforming attitudes, values, skills and purpose.

Adult Learning Initiatives that Promote Wellbeing, Small & Medium Organisation - Winner

Monaghan-based Blayney Blades were awarded for their 'Moving On Sport and Recreation Programme’. 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.

Adult Learning Initiatives that Promote Social Inclusion, Large Organisation - Winner

The National Learning Network's programme Cara Outreach Support Service, based in Waterford, won the award for their programme which provides specialised support to individuals with a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder, offering a highly proactive, structured and holistic service, in addition to ASD specific workshops addressing the unique needs of learners.

Adult Learning Initiatives that Promote Social Inclusion, Small & Medium Organisation - Winner

Dublin 8’s RADE were awarded for their programme which engages those with addiction issues in arts and therapeutic supports and provides a platform for their artistic expression.

We were delighted to be joined at the STAR Awards by Dolores Atkinson from the Belfast Festival of Learning who gave us great insight into their festival in Belfast which is also running this week. The ceremony included speeches from Marty Morrissey, former teacher and RTE Sports Commentator, who gave us an impromptu dance lesson and shared his experience of learning something new.

Barry Sheridan, CEO of the Irish Men’s Sheds also gave an inspiring speech about his experience of winning a STAR Awards in 2017. Adult learner Noeleen Watson also shared a brilliant poem that she wrote in celebration of the event, you can read it here.