Shortlist for the AONTAS STAR Awards Announced

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AONTAS have announced the shortlist for the AONTAS STAR Awards 2021. 21 Adult Learning initiatives have been shortlisted.

The STAR Awards recognise the very best in adult learning in Ireland. This year celebrates and acknowledges the incredible work that adult learning providers have done in adapting their provision during COVID-19 to ensure that the learners’ needs continue to be met.

The winners will be announced during the Adult Learners’ Festival 2021 (1st – 5th March).

Nominations for the 15th AONTAS STAR Awards were received under five categories for adult learning initiatives that support:

  • Health and Wellbeing
  • Learner Voice
  • Social Inclusion
  • Sustainable Development through Education
  • Third-level Access and Engagement

Twenty-one initiatives were shortlisted in five categories with some categories divided into Small/Medium and Large subcategories.

The STAR Awards is judged by an independent judging panel comprising of adult learners, tutors, and adult learning experts. The judging panel will meet online with the shortlisted groups in mid-February before choosing the overall winners. Winners will be announced during the week of the Adult Learners’ Festival 2021.

Shortlist for the AONTAS STAR Awards:

Health and Wellbeing – Small/Medium Organisations

  • Gorey Youth Needs Group (Wexford)
  • Age Friendly Roscrea – Care and Connection through Covid (Tipperary)
  • MenPower Programme (Offaly)

Health and Wellbeing – Large Organisations

  • CDI’s Restorative Practices Training Programme (Dublin)
  • SAOL Sisters Singers (Dublin)
  • East Limerick Traveller Project (Limerick)

Third-level Access and Engagement

  • DCU Ability Team (Dublin)
  • AMETS Youth Work Award (Offaly)
  • A Collaborative Project: Community Development: Widening Participation – Evidence Based Practice (Galway)

Social Inclusion – Small/Medium Organisations

  • WALK REAL Ability Project (Dublin)
  • RADE   (Dublin)
  • Aiseiri Progression Programme (Waterford)

Social Inclusion – Large Organisations

  • Girdwood Level 2 Childcare Journey to Achievement Project (Armagh)
  • LINC Programme (Limerick)
  • Ability Programme IWA (Mayo)

Sustainable Development through Education

  • Cork ETB North Cork Upholstery & Textile Design Classes (Cork)
  • CycleUP (Roscommon)
  • Kinsale College Green Campus Initiative (Cork)

Learner Voice

  • Developing a Community of Leaders through Learning – Making Silent Voices Heard (Antrim)
  • (Dublin)
  • My Blossom Channel Assertiveness Course (Dublin)

In addition to the above two Special Awards will be given for Mitigating Educational Disadvantage through Innovation (during COVID-19), and a European Social Fund Special Recognition Award. is Ireland’s largest part-time course finder database, with thousands of part-time courses, evening, morning and weekend classes and adult education courses to choose from. You’ll find your perfect course on


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