An education initiative which helps adults experiencing mental illness progress onto education and training, and a VEC course which encourages rural men to take part in education and training, have both been shortlisted for an AONTAS STAR Award in the Connacht category.
A total of 39 people have participated in the Freshstart programme in Belmullet, a community based initiative supported by state agencies such as FÁS and the HSE. In Kiltimagh Further Education Centre, 170 men have taken part in the ‘Men Making the Mould’ programme developed by Co Mayo VEC, 20 per cent of whom progressed onto further education and 20 per cent into employment as a direct result of their participation.
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.
President of Ireland Michael D Higgins will announce the winners and present them with their awards at the STAR Awards Ceremony on February 20th.
“These projects prove that given the right learning environment and supports, adults can overcome significant barriers and progress onto further education and employment,” said AONTAS director Berni Brady.