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Launch of LCAES, LCEN and Regeneration commissioned research report – ‘The Social Value of Community-Based Adult Education in Limerick City’
21/03/2012 00:00:00

You never know what amazing things are happening on your doorstep until you join classes
Over 100 people attended the launch recently of an important research report on ‘The Social Value of Community-Based Adult Education in Limerick City. The report was commissioned by LCAES, Limerick Community Education Network (LCEN), and Limerick Regeneration Agency and was carried out by a research team from the Sociology Dept. at UL.

The report deals with the social benefits of community-based adult education for learners, their families, communities and wider society. Minister Jan O’Sullivan who launched the report in the Southill Area Centre emphasized the importance of community-based adult classes in the city but also highlighted the ‘need to measure these things to show their value and then ensure they're supported".  She went on to describe how "adult education gives people the opportunity to learn. Doing it in their own community is a vital element. Once you take the first step...endless opportunities await you. It's not all about what you learn, it's about who you meet, the connections you make, the impact on your community."
Patricia Neville one of the research team explained how the research findings supported the view that there are important social benefits from community-based adult education. These include better communication within families, improved mental health and wellbeing in addition to changing people’s view of education for the better.  Patricia also described how community-based adult education has resulted in increased social awareness of issues in the community and encouraged opportunities for cross community activities. 
Finally James McCarthy, an adult learner from Southill spoke about his own experience of community-based adult education and highlighted how it could bring communities together and support people to work with local schools. “I hope my experience can further my education and open doors for others in my community” he said.
The full report is available from
Members of the research Steering Group, with Minister Jan O’Sullivan and two of the three researchers, are pictured above at the launch of the research report on ‘The Social Value of Community-Based Adult Education in Limerick City.  Standing L to R Declan Blackett, Limerick Regeneration, Helen Fitzgerald, Paul Partnership, Patricia Neville and Maria O’Dwyer, researchers, Jimmy Prior, LCEN.  Sitting L to R Mary Flannery LCAES, Anita Martin, LCAES, Minister Jan O’Sullivan, Yvonne Lane, City of Learning and Lorraine Markham LCAES.

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