12 Sep 2022

AONTAS Belfast event offers chance for adult educators from across Northern Ireland to network, share practice, and consider “5 Ways to Wellbeing”

AONTAS Northern Ireland Consortium Meeting A chance for community learning and adult education providers to get together

This September, AONTAS is holding an in-person event in Belfast to offer an opportunity for community learning and adult education providers to get together. The adult and community education sector faces a great deal of pressure and stress, particularly in times of crisis and change. This event is a space to think about how we can support each other and what we have in common. A collective approach is beneficial in working to deliver quality community and adult learning for all.

Community Education Charter and Census: Why should you come along to this event?

Hear from Suzanne Kyle, AONTAS Senior Community Education Officer about the Community Education Charter and what we have identified as the key principles and shared values of community learning—that it is participative, democratic, hands-on, and is underpinned by consciousness-raising and social justice.

We will also share information on our current Shared Island research and ask attendees’ ideas on the approach and methods being used, to ensure the research meets the needs of those working in adult education and community learning.

5 Ways to Wellbeing

In the current climate and with the pressures facing practitioners, people can often feel isolated as they respond to challenges like social and political changes, limited budgets and administrative requirements. This event will include an interactive talk with Bill Vaughan from Mental Health Ireland on “Five Ways to Wellbeing.”

Building Alliances   

Developing strong relationships and solidarity, and gathering concrete evidence of the sector’s needs can help in building a structure for collective advocacy. This means that the sector could have a stronger voice with policymakers and funders. This event offers a space for sharing best practice, ideas for future collaborative work, and suggestions for AONTAS about the types of support we can offer going forward.


As part of this work, AONTAS will offer information-sharing workshops and webinars, with the aim of strengthening the voices of adult and community education organisations, as well as visits to groups in order to highlight their work and offer support. The overall goal is to promote and reinforce quality lifelong learning for adults and communities across the island of Ireland. Learn more about these opportunities at the event.

Event Information:

This free event will take place on Tuesday 27 September, at the Open University offices in Belfast. It is open to all from the adult education and community learning sector based in Northern Ireland.

Speakers will include Michael Bower, Open University’s Assistant Director for Student Success and External Engagement; Dearbháil Lawless, the new AONTAS CEO; and Colin Neilands from the Forum for Adult Learning Northern Ireland and Programme Coordinator for AONTAS’s Northern Ireland Community Education Census Research.

Places are limited, please register here.

About AONTAS: Click here to learn more about what we do.