Ministers Harris awards funding to help adults learn literacy through cooking, boxing and comic books

July 16, 2023

Minster for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science Simon Harris TD has today allocated €1 million to 51 projects across the country to help adults learn literacy, numeracy and digital skills.  

Among the projects are: 

  • Nourishing Literacy and Numeracy in a Digital Era: A family cookery and healthy eating literacy project for parents of school going children; 

  • Literacy for Work - Courses for Adults with Down Syndrome and Other Forms of Neurodiversity; 

  • 'Healthy Food at Home’ to assist people learning to read through the joy of cooking; 

  • Supporting Adult Literacy Practitioners working with Native Speakers in the Gaeltacht; 

  • 'C.ALL Out - Comic Making Classes;  

  • Your Rights and Entitlements: A women’s community project that promotes civic literacy, supporting people to access benefits, entitlements and employment.  


Speaking today, Minister Harris said: “I am delighted to award funding to 51 innovative projects and partnerships that will help people access the skills of literacy, numeracy and digital skills. 

“We know that accessing literacy supports can be very difficult for people to do. There is often a stigma attached to not being able to read, write, or participate in the world online.  

“What is really magic about these projects is they inject fun into learning those essential skills. That can mean learning to read or count through the joy of cooking, or boxing.  

“This will ensure we reach those key target groups such as older adults, members of Traveller community, or persons experiencing addiction. 

“I really want to congratulate each and every applicant. We will learn from your work and scale up if found to be successful."

The Collaboration and Innovation Fund was launched in April 2023 as part of the Adult Literacy for Life Strategy.  

The Fund was developed to support collaborative and innovative activities that will help achieve the aims of the strategy and create a more equal society. 

Yvonne McKenna, Director of Adult Literacy for Life said: “The ALL Collaboration and Innovation Fund will enable the delivery of a diverse and broad range of important literacy programmes to benefit adults in Ireland with a range of complex literacy needs.

“Literacy is an issue that will affect every adult in Ireland over the course of their lifetime. Currently, almost 1 in 5 adults in Ireland struggling with reading and understanding everyday text, almost 1 in 4 struggles with maths and almost 1 in 2 adults lack basic digital skills.   

“This funding will help a range of learners including older adults, Travellers, migrants, lone parents, and early school leavers gain access to key supports to benefit their needs to participate more fully in society.” 

Adult Literacy for Life (ALL) is a ten-year strategy that aims to ensure that every adult in Ireland has the necessary literacy, numeracy and digital literacy to fully engage in society and realise their potential.