A new website for the Limerick Community Education Network (LCEN) was launched today at the Hunt Museum by the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Irish National Association of Adult Education (AONTAS) Niamh O’Reilly.
The LCEN promotes and supports adult learning in local communities and helps adult learners to access accredited and non-accredited programmes across Limerick City. Established in 1993, it consists of a network of fifteen community organisations and statutory agencies which are involved in the provision of Community Adult Education.
“I think the website is a brilliant way of promoting the fantastic community education that is offered across the city of Limerick supported by the LCEN. I’m so glad that you have a website to promote your work because what happening at a community level is hugely important, we have been able to bring across Europe the message of what’s happening in Limerick
“The LCEN is a really important member for AONTAS because if a question comes to me on community education, the first place I go to is the LCEN because it has such a grass roots understanding. AONTAS is committed to ensuring that all adults have the right to go back into education, particularly that which is practiced in Limerick.
“I would hope that the LCEN would be supported with funding because the expertise that has been built would be a huge loss to community education in limerick and also at national level if the LCEN do not get further funding to continue. The website is a way of promoting their work but it is also bigger than that, we have to look really seriously at how community education is going to be sustainably funded,” said CEO of AONTAS Niamh O’Reilly.
The LCEN website was set up from the donation of a prize that AONTAS won when they were exhibiting at an education fair in Limerick in 2016. Work on the website began in November 2016.
The connection between AONTAS and the LCEN goes back eleven years when AONTAS used the LCEN as a model of how to replicate community education at a national level.
The launch was also attended by Councillor Jo Leddin and Deputy Mayor Councillor Michael Sheehan who paid tribute to the fantastic community work that chairperson of LCEN Helen Flanagan and her team are doing in Limerick.
“LCEN is recognised nationally as a model of good practice and when AONTAS won a prize at the lifelong learning festival, they donated it to LCEN and we decided to set up a website. I think the website will make it more accessible what the work of LCEN does more accessible to our learners, it will be up to date and people will know exactly what’s happening in their local area,” said chairperson of LCEN Helen Flanagan.
Adult Education Officer in Limerick LCETB Aobhan Haverty is part of the Limerick and Clare Education Training Board (ETB) which supports the LCEN, “I think the LCEN are the most fantastic group. The website is the front of house to celebrate a lot of the work that these volunteers do that goes under the radar. We wouldn’t be able to get programmes out into the community without the wonderful work done by the local community based organisations.”