At the start of January alongside three other students from UL, I started my Co-Op at the learning hub. I did not know what to expect from my time at the hub but I have found the last few months thoroughly rewarding and enjoyable. At first I was apprehensive arriving into an area that I would not have been familiar with. I did not know how I was going to fit in among everyone else. However after my time at Hub I can confidently say that you would not meet a nicer community of people around the Kileely House. The children that come into the Hub are polite, enthusiastic, and eager to learn and partake in the activities. From what I can see the Learning Hub is a vital amenity to the community as it provides a meeting place and safe area for children and adults alike.
My main duties at the hub were to help in activities such as Science Hub, Kickboxing and Art Hub. As well as this I also became a ukulele instructor in my time at the Hub to the bemusement of my peers. As a person from a non-musical background, this was my first experience playing an instrument since having a go at the recorder in first year of secondary school. However alongside most of the Co-Op students we found it to be great fun and not overly difficult to pick up. Every Thursday we would go down to Corpus Christi in Moyross to teach the children what we knew. Although the children knew we were not experts, they still appreciated the time given to them and were eager to learn.
Probably the highlight of my time at the Hub was the St. Patricks day parade. After weeks of effort by all the staff members, the Hub was ready for its annual trip to the Parade. An amazing float was created as well as a costume for every child. Most of the costumes were created in the art hub with air cannons being made in the science hub. The Kick Boxing team led the line with a routine synchronised to the drum beats of the music students. The parade itself was a great success and went off without a hitch. It was my first time witnessing the Limerick parade and I found it to be a great experience.
It was great to get an insight into another part of the city which UL students would not normally get to see. Most of the city experience for UL students does not go much further than a night out. I would rarely have gone into the city during the day, but I now feel comfortable walking around these parts. I had a great time at the Hub and would recommend it to anyone who is looking for hands on, socially active work for their Co-Op semester.