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Lifelong Learning Festival 2020 celebrates Limerick Learning Communities

Lifelong Learning Festival 2020 – The theme for 2020 is ‘Celebrating and Building Learning Communities’. Launching the event were, Dr. Sarah Brady, UL, Helen Fitzgerald, PAUL Partnership, Eimear Brophy, Limerick and Clare Education and Training Board, Mayor of Limerick City and County Cllr. Michael Collins and Anne Rizzo, Limerick City and County Council (all pictured above). Picture: Alan Place

Lifelong Learning Festival 2020 celebrates Limerick Learning Communities

Lifelong Learning Festival 2020

The dates for the festival are from Monday 28 September to Sunday 4 October 2020. Pictured above are Ann Piercy, GOSHH, Jimmy Prior, LCEN and Anne Rizzo, Limerick City and County Council. Picture: Alan Place

The Limerick Lifelong Learning Festival, now in its tenth year, will for the first time, be run virtually from Monday 28 September to Sunday 4 October 2020.



The weeklong Lifelong Learning Festival 2020 is organised by the Learning Limerick Steering Group, which represents the main stakeholders involved in promoting learning across the City and County.


The Lifelong Learning Festival 2020 organisers and all those running events have shown wonderful resilience and creativity in the pandemic this year by planning a programme of events that will be interesting, varied and accessible, while complying with the current restrictions.


The theme for 2020 is ‘Celebrating and Building Learning Communities’.


An exciting programme of over 80 events is being provided through a combination of online interactive sessions, live broadcasts, webinars including panel discussions, and pre-recorded video events.


Activities range from dance art, health and science, to business and developing career options.


Learning Limerick is also collaborating with the Mid-West Regional Skills Forum this year to run a webinar during the festival week entitled ‘Learning During Changing Business Times’. In this webinar, speakers from a number of different local business sectors in the Limerick Region will present and discuss how they have responded to the challenges presented by Covid-19.


Some other events of interest this year include:


· ‘Blooming all Winter’ gardening event from Southill Hub

· ‘Career Opportunities for Women’ from Ballyhoura Development

· ‘Humans & Intelligent Machine: How technology will impact the future of work’ from University of Limerick CONFIRM Centre

· ‘Online Transactions’ – taking everyday transactions online from Mobile IT

· ‘History of Limerick Museum’ online lecture

· ‘Pop Pom Making’ for young children and adults from Limerick Childcare Committee

· ‘Dare to be Happier’ interactive workshop on the science of wellbeing from The Intentional Academy

· ‘Diversity in the Limerick Community – the impact of COVID-19’ event from Mary Immaculate College in collaboration with Limerick Youth Service, GOSHH, Doras and UL Sanctuary PhD Fellow.

· ‘Guidance tools and information for education and training’ from Limerick and Clare Education and Training Board

· ‘Explain ‘BLOCKCHAIN’ from Limerick Institute of Technology

· ‘Tai Chi for Seniors’ from West Limerick Resources

· ‘How to make an Authentic Irish Coffee’ from Griffith College

Speaking at the launch today in Merchant’s Quay, Mayor of the City and County of Limerick, Cllr Michael Collins said: “With all the uncertainty caused surrounding Covid-19, I’m delighted to officially launch the 10th annual Limerick Lifelong Learning Festival. Learning and the love of learning is not confined to the young or a classroom. We can do it anywhere, as the lockdown over the past number of months has highlighted to us so clearly.”


“The festival provides a timely opportunity to reflect on the many contexts in which we are learning, as well as exploring new ways and opportunities for learning. Thus the festival theme this year ‘Celebrating and Building Learning Communities’. We are celebrating the resilience of our local communities.”


The festival also celebrates Limerick as a UNESCO Learning City-Region. The Irish Network of UNESCO Learning Cities (Limerick, Cork, Dublin, Belfast and Derry Strabane) is hosting a collaborative Irish Learning Cities Day on Wednesday 30 September during the Limerick Festival week.


Learning Limerick is looking forward to collaborating with its partner cities on joint events and in sharing its learner stories during the week. As part of the initiative this year the Limerick Learning Neighbourhoods project, run by the Limerick Community Education Network (LCEN), will hold a joint webinar event with the Cork Learning Neighbourhoods project.


The webinar will be an opportunity to share learning and discuss ideas for positive local actions for both communities in the future. Operating the festival as a virtual one this year offers the added opportunity of attendees from Limerick’s partner Learning Cities all around the world logging on to join the multiple programme events online!


Eimear Brophy, Limerick and Clare Education and Training Board, is Chairperson of the Learning Limerick Steering Group said: “We are delighted to be again showcasing Limerick as a superb UNESCO Learning Region for both educational and business development. This year, we are connecting through various digital formats with learners, right across our region and from our partner UNESCO Learning Cities globally.”


“We are really enthusiastic about the new opportunities for sharing learning that this new format offers. We look forward to welcoming our existing learners and many of our new partners and communities of learners to our varied programme of events. There truly is something to appeal to everyone.”


The Learning Ambassadors video series will also be launched by Learning Limerick during the festival. These Ambassadors work with Learning Limerick and the festival and help promote and celebrate learning opportunities. These Ambassadors are inspirational role models who will spread their enthusiasm and love for learning throughout Limerick during the week and beyond.


For more information about the festival and a list of all the events, click HERE

For more stories on the Lifelong Learning Festival, click HERE

Richard is a presenter, producer, songwriter and actor. He was named the Limerick Person of the Year (2011) and won an online award at the Metro Éireann Media and Multicultural Awards (2011) for promoting multi-culturalism online. Richard says that the concept is very much a community driven project that aims to document life in Limerick. So, that in 20 years time people can look back and remember the events that were making the headlines.