Adult learners make shortlist

A unique mental health initiative developed by TASK (Training And Support Kilkenny) has been included on the Leinster shortlist for the Aontas Star Awards.

A unique mental health initiative developed by TASK (Training And Support Kilkenny) has been included on the Leinster shortlist for the Aontas Star Awards.

The awards recognise outstanding work in adult education in Ireland. TASK developed ‘On the Edge – the Chair Project’ where students used chairs to address issues of stigma experienced by people with mental with health difficulties.

Students chose the chair as a symbol of everyday life and decorated them to reflect messages about mental health. The unusual collection was displayed outside Kilkenny courthouse during the Kilkenny Arts Festival in 2012.

Representatives involved with the initiative met members of the judging panel in Dublin on Monday to outline why they should win the award. Details of the winners will be announced at the awards ceremony on February 25 in Dublin.

The awards will be presented by Minister for Training and Skills Ciaran Cannon along with John Lonergan, former governor of Mountjoy Prison.

The Star Awards were established in 2007 by Aontas to recognise collaboration, teamwork and best practice in adult education throughout the country. Five awards will be given this year – four regional and one nationwide.

“TASK faced tough competition to make the shortlist and we wish them well in their efforts to become winners this year,” said Aontas director Berni Brady.

“Aontas estimates that over 300,000 adults take part in some form of learning each year. We hope that these awards really showcase the diversity of learning opportunities around the country, and that they really highlight how adult learning is helping people find new opportunities in employment and education in these difficult times.”