“As a child, I was quiet, reserved, only spoke when spoken to, and always conformed to the rules of society. Academically, I suppose I would have been average. I would have been described back then as a ‘good’ child. On the other hand, I was a child who greatly lacked confidence and self – esteem. I believed myself to be talentless as I was not given the opportunity to explore my talents. However, I was what I would describe as ‘grand’. It was when I hit those dreaded years of adolescence that these insecurities that I was experiencing came to light and resulted in me becoming an early school leaver, just because I did not believe in my educational ability. I thoroughly believe that if I had been involved in projects like the projects the Limerick Learning Hub has to offer, I would have a different story to tell today.”
Parent, Kileely, Limerick
“Since its inception the Learning Hub has acted as a model for activity based learning in the Northside community. The programme of activities has at its core the development of both the participants’ cognitive abilities but also their social skills. The impact of such work cannot and should not be underestimated, engaging young people in their own learning is what opens their minds to the potential they each have and the Learning Hub through its staff and volunteers do this in a personal and professional manner, Nár laga sibh.”
Joe O’Connell Director, Limerick Education Centre
“With more than 8800 volunteer hours co-ordinated in 2010 alone, the Hub is truly unique in terms of its ability to harness and connect the talents and energy of the city’s third level institutions to the wider communities which they serve.”
Eamonn Moran SIF Programme Manager, University of Limerick
“As a director of the Learning Hub Limerick, I believe that the Hub offers children an opportunity to explore all areas of the curriculum in an out of school setting. They learn a new skill which adds to their abilities. The support they receive from the third level students gives them an insight in to how education at an early stage can assist them to see third level college as an option and that there is a whole other world out there to be explored and that opportunities are there to be taken whatever talent and gifts you have. It also gives the young people a sense of belonging and friendship.”
Geraldine Clohessy, Moyross Partners
“Among the Hub’s many strengths is that it is geared towards complementing the school curriculum, but in a way that’s easiest for those who find engaging with formal learning difficult. It does not stigmatise as it does not target the most disadvantaged, yet those most at risk of exclusion all use the Hub. Lastly, the value of positive relationships developed with young adults in third level cannot be overestimated; many kids don’t have this kind of role model only for the Hub.”
Yvonne Lane, Life Long Learning facilitator, PAUL Partnership
“The pupils of St. Munchin’s G.N.S. have for many years, happily been involved a range of projects and events run by or through Learning Hub Limerick. We have enjoyed a fantastic working relationship with the staff and management of the hub, all to the benefit of our children.
The children view the hub as their own and as a home away from home. The activities are always geared to the needs and wants of the children thus valuing their wishes and views. They see the staff from the hub and the work of the hub valued by the school staff ,and this is reciprocated, as school staff are very aware of and impressed by the work done by the hub inside and outside of school hours. The children talk about it with such energy, enthusiasm and indeed delight. The hub has certainly been a force for great good in this community.
Personally I think its greatest achievement has been to make learning and education “cool”. Children must value education to benefit from it fully. I believe the hub enhances the reputation of education and this leads to a positive attitude to learning and education. This is a very good thing.
Louise Frawley, Acting Principal, St Munchins GNS, Ballynanty, Limerick
“As a parent of 4 children aging in ranges from 13 – 6, I just want to say a huge “Thank You” and commend you on the amazing centre you run on the north side of the city.
My kids have been involved in the Art projects, kickboxing and running programmes and I can’t speak highly enough of them all. The fun and positive experiences my kids have had in ‘The Hub’ has been fantastic. Not only do you run programmes that really appeal and connect with the kids – your biggest asset by far is the staff you have there. Paul O’ Brien and his team are so energetic, encouraging, kind and patient with the kids; it is no wonder the kids love coming back.
As an aside, we do not live in the regeneration area but I strongly feel that for the whole ‘Regeneration Initiative’ to truly work, it needs champions like ‘The Hub’ to integrate with every single community across the city. I hope “The Hub” remains an integral part of our city for many years to come and that more centres follow in your exemplary footsteps.
Keep up the good work and thanks again from all the Barry family.”