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UL Access Campus celebrates twenty years of community outreach

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UL Access Campus celebrates twenty years of community outreach. Pictured is bursary award recipient Megan Ledger, Carew Park, who received the award from the 1972 founding class members of NIHE / UL. Pic Arthur Ellis.

University of Limerick Access Campus celebrated twenty years of community outreach benefiting thousands of Limerick families

UL Access Campus twenty years of community outreach
Pictured at the celebration are L-R Alexa Scheetz and Brooklyn Miller, US study abroad students with Darrell Healy, UL Access Campus. Pic Arthur Ellis.

Twenty years of community outreach benefiting thousands of Limerick families was celebrated this week as the University of Limerick Access Campus marked twenty years since it was opened in November 2003 by Mr Pat Cox, then President of the European Parliament.

In a unique partnership with Limerick Enterprise Development Partnership (LEDP) the core aim of the facility was to challenging educational disadvantage in areas of social and economic deprivation in Limerick city and its environs.

“The idea for AccessCampus originally came from LEDP who set out to re-establish the former Krups site in Roxboro into a meaningful, impactful and relevant presence in the local communities. What was created was a mini-campus which supports people in realising their potential through outreach educational opportunities. The AccessCampus caters for a diverse range of learners, ranging from primary school children to mature learners and to University students, said Donal O’Leary, UL’s AccessCampus coordinator.


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“Since its establishment, the UL AccessCampus has seen over 1,500 young people join Study Club from 15 different local secondary schools, and has worked with countless local community and educational organisations to offer a range of informal and formal learning opportunities on site. The work in AccessCampus has been supported by almost 1,000 UL student volunteers and its community-based initiatives have provided valuable learning experiences for undergraduate students on Co-op placements. UL AccessCampus has also facilitated community-based Practicum and practice education placements for postgraduate students from disciplines such as Public Health, Occupational Therapy, Music Therapy, and for undergraduate students from Physiotherapy, continued Mr O’Leary.

Pat Mulcahy, Limerick City, Richard Lombard, Meadowvale and Denis McMahon, Dooradoyle. Pic Arthur Ellis.

The AccessCampus is open 12 hours a day from Monday to Friday, and also opens for two local church groups at weekends. The diversity of user groups and collaborations displays the breadth and strength of the interest in education across all generations and strata of the local communities.

Speaking from a celebratory event at the AccessCampus this week Niall O’Callaghan, CEO, LEDP said: “Over the past 20 years, AccessCampus has become more than just a link between education and the community. It has become a place where people can find hope and unlock their true potential. We’re keenly aware of the barriers to further education, so we look forward to continuing this unique partnership initiative with UL and furthering the educational opportunities for all students in our community. “

This week a new Memorandum of Understanding was signed by Professor Kerstin Mey, UL President and Niall O’Callaghan, CEO of the LEDP, to formalise the ongoing collaboration between the two organisations for the operation of the AccessCampus for the next five years.

Find out more here.
Read more UL Access Campus stories 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 ilovelimerick.com 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.