THE two city family resource centres in partnership with the Department Social Protection and Kilkenny County Council’s RAPID programme are busy recruiting for a 10-week course that will offer 40 trainees FETAC Level 3 modules in outdoor organic crop production, woodwork, and painting and decorating.
In a growing partnership of cooperation to try to tackle the serious impact unemployment is having on local RAPID communities in the city, both centres are working with the County Council, the Department of Social Protection and other statutory bodies to give adults, young and old, an alternative to signing on to the dole.
The morning training programme starting on June 5 will work from a range of sites in the city including Newpark Close, the Neighbourhood Hall on the Butts Green, Wolfetone House Nursery Gardens, Bishop’s Demense Community Allotments and thanks to support from the City Vocational School, trainees will also have access to the ultra-modern woodwork training rooms in the school over the summer.
Mary Donnelly, manager of the FAS training project running from Newpark Family Centre and the Neighbourhood Hall on the Butts Green, said: “One of the big lessons we have learned from the last 20-week training programme for young people is to make training as practical as possible and place less emphasis on the academic side as it can frighten some people away.”
The new training places resulted from the community allotment schemes initiated by County Council’s RAPID programme in city estates two years ago. The first pilot run from the Newpark Close Family Centre resulted in community allotments, memorial gardens and park improvement work being carried out by local young people in the eastern environs of the city.
Nineteen-year-old Brian Galvin has just completed the 20-week programme in Newpark and collected a range of FETAC training awards as well. “I thought the course was brilliant. I really appreciated getting the chance to learn about planting and caring for vegetables, it is something I always wanted to do,” he said.
Twenty-one-year-old Thomas Clifford from Pearse Street agreed. “I was really bored and wanted to get involved in something and do some training and I found the course really enjoyable. It was great working with and meeting new people while learning new skills,” he said.
Interested adults can contact Mary or Sheila Donnelly at Newpark Close Family Centre (056 7723309) or any of the staff at the Fr McGrath Centre or enquire at the FAS office on Hebron Road. Further details are available from Mary Donnelly on 085 1521210.