STAR Awards Winners 2016
The STAR Awards (Showcasing Teamwork, Awarding Recognition) are an awards initiative coordinated by AONTAS as part of the annual Adult Learners' Festival to acknowledge the fantastic work undertaken by adult learning projects throughout Ireland. The awards celebrate the positive contribution that these projects make to individual adult learners, local communities and wider society.
The winners of the 10th annual STAR Awards were announced at the STAR Awards ceremony on Monday 22nd of February 2016:
Ulster – Large Organisation
Apel Community Development Pathway
This unique programme takes community workers, activists and volunteers who have left school with few or no qualifications on a transformatory learning journey to develop their skills and build confidence in their capacity to learn and become ‘organic intellectuals’ in their communities. ‘Starting where the learner is’, it aims to enable participants to identify and evidence their skills, knowledge and understanding of community and voluntary work, in order to gain university level accreditation. Successful participants are supported, to build a portfolio for advanced standing gaining direct entry onto year 2 of the BSc Hons Community Development.
Ulster- Small and Medium Organisation
The Pro-Social Drivers Programme
The Pro-Social Drivers Programme is a road safety initiative started in 2012 which seeks to improve the driving behaviour of some of the higher risk groups of drivers. Course participants are committed to completing a course consisting of Social Responsibility, Emotional Control, Driving Under the Influence and Consequences of Antisocial Driving Behaviour. The course takes place in a non-judgemental environment, where participation and discussion is encouraged in order to bring about peer learning and social responsibility. The aims of the course are to reduce re-offending and promote safer roads for our community.
Munster- Large Organisation
The Soundscape Project
The National Learning Network Raheen Rehabilitative Training Soundscape Project 2015 is a critical collaboration in research processes which enabled learners with additional support-needs to become ‘Citizen Collectors’ of Limerick City sounds in a sonic-mapping project. Learners were given the opportunity to access I.T and sound recording training in the University of Limerick and Mary Immaculate College. Using this training and new technologies, learners captured aspects of urban soundscapes by recording Limerick City sounds. The tangible result of this project is a ‘Soundcloud’ comprised uniquely of ‘Limerick Sounds’, as identified by learners.
Munster- Small and Medium Organisation
‘Belong’ Drama and Film Group
The Belong Club was initiated in Waterford by ABI, for men who have acquired brain injuries. In 2015, members of the club began a Community Education drama course with WWETB. Facilitated by a Community Artist, the group wrote, acted, directed and produced a 14 minute film called ‘The Empty Chair’. The Film, which explores a number of issues, was launched during the ‘Imagine Festival’ and screened to an audience of over 100 attendees, followed by a facilitated Q&A session with the group, the tutor and the CEF. Since then, the group were invited to screen their film and host another Q&A at an international mental health conference in UCC and early next year for social care and teaching students in WIT.
Leinster- Large Organisation
Soilse Education and Detoxification Programme
The Soilse Education and Detoxification Programme is designed to support drug users from dependency on methadone treatment and other drugs into recovery. The programme’s aim is to concentrate on the developmental needs of service users- building their assets rather than reducing harm. The education programme consists of soft skill development using arts, relaxation, mindfulness, health and fitness, literacy and personal development to nurture confidence and motivation. This is augmented by one to one and group work. Underpinning this is an adult learning ethos, expressed through experiential and collaborative learning, orientated to transform the person’s role in life.
Leinster- Small and Medium Organisation
Befrienders is a Social Support Service for people with enduring mental illness, living in Dublin. It offers companionship to isolated people and gives them the opportunity to participate in social activities, establish and maintain relationships, widen their social and support networks. It supports personal growth and allows people to explore their community within a safe environment. It supports people when trying new things and gives them something to look forward to each week, reduces symptoms and improves confidence, self-esteem and quality of life. Activities include: One-to-one befriending, social clubs x 3, days out, holiday each year, BBQ, Christmas Parties.
The Harvest Studios
The Harvest Studios supports adults with intellectual disabilities to develop their skills, confidence and interests. The Harvest Studios promote independence and community engagement through the creation of enterprises, employment and training whilst establishing sustainable community links to assist participants to become valued, socially active members of their community. Let’s Get to Work supported employment programme provides further skills training and meaningful employment in paid or voluntary roles within their community. We have established a second-hand bookshop as a social enterprise, run by the service users, to foster learning opportunities and community integration.
Training Options Programme 2012-2015 Disability Activation Programme
The DACT Training Options Programme was a pilot training programme for people from the border midland western regions who are in receipt of an illness or disability payment. Courses were organised by the Irish Congress of Trade Unions and implemented by Congress Centres Network, funded by the Department of Social Protection and European Structural Fund. 422 learners participated in a total of 28 implemented courses. The purpose of the courses was to enable participants to avail of suitably supportive accredited training which would increase their confidence and skills.
Nominate your initiative for 2017 here.