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Learner Support Service

Addressing unmet literacy needs among homeless people in Cork.

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"The participants really enjoyed the project, and the group was amazing. They worked really well together. We always had a good conversation about photography and their lives." Quote from facilitator

This project addressed unmet literacy needs among homeless people in Cork. The Learner Support Service (LSS) developed informal literacy activities to help the most vulnerable and to build their confidence.

41 learners got involved in many activities between September and December 2023. Outreach meetings took place in the Cork Simon Community’s Housing First and Rapid Rehousing and Tenancy offices. Social farming activities and other workshops took place in various locations in Cork.

Key activities included:  

Outreach: The LSS strengthened links with Cork Simon’s Housing First, Rapid Rehousing, and High Support Housing teams. This allowed the LSS to build relationships with homeless residents and to encourage them to participate in learning activities.  

Engagement: The LSS created learning activities that encouraged the most vulnerable to ‘take the next step’ in their personal development.

Transition and Progression: The LSS helped people transition to more formal learning opportunities, thanks to work-related training courses.

Classroom Support: The LSS supported learners who needed extra help with reading, writing, numeracy, and using computers.

Digital Skills for Job Seekers: The LSS helped job seekers how to use job listing websites, fill out applications, and apply online. 

"It was great to take some of our migrant service users, who are still learning English, on the trip to Limerick. For many of them, it was their first time having such an opportunity since arriving in Ireland." Quote from facilitator

This project was the result of a collaboration between Cork Simon Community, Focus Ireland, and Cork Education and Training Board (CETB).

For more information, please contact Sinead Maloney, Cork Regional Literacy Coordinator at  

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