Learning Hub Limerick is a member of Social Enterprise Limerick, a practitioners’ network of Social Enterprises in Limerick City
Learning Hub Limerick encourage children and young people to persist with education for as long as possible
In Kileely, County Limerick there is a place where art, science, music, health, stories, creativity and digital learning for children all come together to make up what is known as The Learning Hub. Encouraging children and young people to persist with education for as long as possible, instilling a love of learning from an early age is key.
Learning Hub Limerick is a charity and social enterprise that works with children, families, the wider community and partner schools and third level colleges to raise educational aspiration levels in the communities we serve. They work in partnership with educators and parents to add value to the school day and also provide crucial out of school, low cost educational, social and cultural activities for young people.
James Blake, Learning Hub CEO said, “Learning Hub was set up to encourage children and families in the immediate area to continue with education. We work with families and the community encouraging continuous education so they can learn. We create an interest in learning by supporting and facilitating young people’s creativity. Our programmes are designed around young people discovering for themselves what they want to learn about and us helping and encouraging them to explore that interest. The young people are driving the learning.”
James added, “We have four broad major areas of activity – the Science Hub, Music Hub, Art Hub and Health Hub and all four areas collaborate very closely. We provide a safe, happy learning environment. We have a gym, yoga, a garden, art, music and science. A child can come and dip into everything and it’s amazing to see a young person transform as they find out what they like for themselves.”
Learning Hub Limerick is over 15 years old. The organisation was founded as a charitable company limited by guarantee in October 2007. Learning Hub Limerick was formed with an overall aim of working in partnership with local education providers, families and young people to develop and implement practical and solution focused responses to the very high levels of educational disadvantage and early school leaving experienced by local communities on the Northside of Limerick City. Each year they welcome scheme workers and many third level volunteers to the Learning Hub. All add incredible value, support and expertise to the team.
The Learning Hub works in partnership with parents, education providers, statutory agencies and the wider Limerick community to provide a safe, welcoming and inspiring learning environment where young people can reach their true potential. They serve over 150 children on average each week with many involved in multiple activities during and after the school day ends.
The Learning Hub encourages excellence in children, offering an informal learning environment where all children, even those who are struggling at school, can learn and thrive. As Ugis Danilevics, Learning Hub Science Teacher said, “Young people who are not academically inclined don’t find mainstream schooling engaging as it relies on them to get good grades, but at the Hub we allow them to flourish by letting them do the work informally so they realise they can succeed by putting in the effort. Everything we teach the children is 95% hands-on and we encourage them to try engaging new things to unlock their true potential. The kids also make new friends and most importantly learn from each other.”
Paul O’Brien, Health Club Coordinator said, “There should be more places like this around Ireland because we offer so many options to young people and as they sample new things they find something they love to do and are able to work and develop that throughout their life.”
James added, “The community knows we are there for them. We work together as a team and ensure a great experience for all. Our team are amazing people who are experts in their field for the benefit of the community. We are looking forward to expanding on our offer in the coming years. We will do learning activities as their needs are presented by the community and it’s this constant evolution of our services that keeps things fresh. It’s that safe, fun learning environment that invites exploration, it’s the one that we have created and will always maintain.”
About Social Enterprise Limerick
Learning Hub Limerick is a member of Social Enterprise Limerick, a practitioners’ network of Social Enterprises in Limerick City. The overall objective of Social Enterprise Limerick is to provide a local platform for social enterprises to meet, network, share their experiences and learn from each other. The network encourages collaboration and the sharing of resources to help members to advance their community, social and/or environmental goals and is involved in a range of training, development and promotional activities.
In 2022, Social Enterprise Limerick was approved for funding under the ARISE programme, which is a Dormant Accounts funded initiative for the promotion of Social Enterprise. The ARISE funding was utilised to develop a range of promotional materials for network members and to highlight the activities of the SEL network, with a particular focus on the development of digital media/video content.
Social Enterprise Limerick was initiated by Paul Partnership under the Social Inclusion and Community Activation Programme (known as SICAP). SICAP provides social inclusion support to individuals and community organisations and is co-funded by the Government of Ireland through the Department of Rural and Community Development and the European Union.
For more information on the SEL ARISE project contact Michael Gleeson, Social Enterprise Officer at PAUL Partnership or visit www.socialenterpriselimerick.ie #SocialEnterpriseLimerick