Yvonne Lane, Paul Partnership, Jan O’ Sullivan, Minster for Education, Jennifer Moroney- Ward, Manager of the Hub, Eamonn Moran, Chairperson of the board. Picture by: Billy Butler.
The Learning Hub, Limerick, launched its new Learning Hub youth cafe and kitchen on Mon, June 8, opening the venue to children from a number of different schools in Limerick, their parents and special guest, Minister for Education, Jan O’Sullivan.
“In terms of what we’re launching today, in terms of the youth café and demonstration kitchen, I’ve just been in to have a look, and it’s a fantastic space. I know that it’s intended that it be open to everybody on the North-side, whatever the organisation is and I would encourage people to use it”, the Minister said during her speech.
The Learning Hub, which was founded as a charitable company and was initially known as Northside Learning Hub, today aims toward a working partnership between local education providers and families and young people. Its main objective is to provide and develop solutions to increasingly high levels of disadvantage in education in the Northside area of Limerick.
A great day was had by all at the launch, with the audience being treated to a rendition of ‘All you need is love’ by young students from different primary schools, located around Limerick. The students not only sang, but also played a selection of instruments, while being guided by musicians from the Music Generation, a part of the Limerick School of Music.
There has been a huge demand from young people for access to their own space, not only as somewhere to talk and relax with friends, but also to learn, particularly about cooking. The new youth space performs as a fully-equipped kitchen where local chefs, who have donated their time, can teach the children about healthy eating and cooking, through the method of ‘learn-by-doing’.
Jennifer Moroney-Ward, manager of the Learning Hub, emphasises that the new space will not only be a benefit to young people at the Hub, but to a range of different organisations: “The whole idea of it is relief, not just for young people as well, so it’s a family learning facility as well. The kitchen is going to be open to all of the other youth organisations.. It will be a bookable venue”.
An understanding of healthy cooking, healthy eating and cooking from scratch are not the only skills that young people involved will learn. Personal development skills, committee skills, facility management and communications are among other skills that will be enhanced.
The new space will also be beneficial to students and volunteers from a range of higher level institutions, such as; The University of Limerick, Limerick Institute of Technology and Limerick college of Further Education, to name a few, where skills like project management experience, youth work experience and teaching skills will also be enhanced.
The refurbishments will also allow different organisations and partners in the community to use the space to work with young people. It will soon be open to partnership projects with local teachers, a Garda Youth Diversion Project and a number of others.
The renovations were made possible with a grant from the Department of Children and Youth and a donation from Limerick businessman, JP McManus, who makes a donation to the Hub annually. Showing hers, and everyone else’s, gratitude, Jennifer Moroney-Ward said: “We wouldn’t be here without them”.
The new kitchen is now up and running, and people can contact the Learning Hub to book a time by clicking here
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