Packed scedule on way for “Our Balbriggan Loves Learning”

by Gazette Reporter
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A packed schedule has been put together for the 2022 Our Balbriggan Loves Learning Festival – a hybrid festival featuring events taking place both online and live.

The week-long blitz, from this Saturday April 23 for a week will have four overarching themes – Learning for work (Business), Learning for Employment, Learning in the Community and Digital Learning.

There will also be pre-recorded videos available on the Our Balbriggan website with practical advice on boosting employability, how to upskill your business, improving digital skills and expanding learning in the community.

A Loves Learning Festival section on will operate as a central hub for information on all events.

The festival is hosted by various partners including Fingal County Council, Dublin and Dún Laoghaire Education Training Board Adult Education Service Balbriggan, Baldoyle Training Centre, Balbriggan Integration Forum, Balbriggan Chamber of Commerce, Empower, Intreo and Dublin Regional Skills.

One of the highlights of this year’s festival will be a maker day held in Balbriggan Library building on Saturday, April 23, from 10am to 5pm.

The event will kick-off the festival and will combine pre-booked workshops on topics as diverse as T-shirt design, electronic audio card, puppet-making, Dungeons and Dragons, Coding, and no less than three workshops devoted to Lego!

The free event is open to visitors both young and old for a day of family-friendly workshops and maker showcases – and a specially curated ‘show and tell’ area will see the Smart Dublin and Smart Balbriggan Teams facilitate a virtual reality tour of Balbriggan Town Centre, where the public can step into the future of the town.

For a full list of events and to book other key events check out

Another part of the festival will include a Sports Inclusion Workshop for Clubs and Community Groups run by Fingal Sports Office.

The one-hour online workshop on Monday, April 25, is designed to build awareness around people with disabilities participating in community sport and physical activity.

On completion of the course, all attendees will receive a Cara Certificate of Participation endorsed by Sport Ireland.

Another part of the festival will be an information session for job seekers on finding remote and hybrid jobs which will be hosted by Grow Remote, a non-profit social enterprise committed to making remote work accessible and supporting remote workers to live, work and participate locally.

Throughout the week the Adult Education Service and Baldoyle Training Centre will host a series of Information Days on ‘What to Learn and Where to Learn?’ 

These sessions will take place on Thursday, April 28 in Sarsfield House, Mill Street and at Castlemills Education Centre on Friday, April 29 from 12-3pm.

They will also have pop-up stands at Supervalu, Dunnes, Millfield Shopping Centre early in the festival week.

“DDLETB has a long history of delivering lifelong learning opportunities in Balbriggan,” said Joanne Russell, Adult Education Officer with DDLETB.

The opportunities to learn and love learning available within DDLETB provision include primary schools with Scoil Chormaic, second level schools with Balbriggan and Ardgillan Community Colleges and  Balbriggan Youthreach.

The Adult Education Service Balbriggan and Baldoyle Training Centre cater to a wide variety of further education and training opportunities within the community.

“Over the years, the range of opportunities available to meet the needs of a growing community have expanded and this year we are proud to be instrumental in co-ordinating the Balbriggan Loves Learning Festival for the second year in a row,”  she said.

“Along with other providers of education, skills and training in the area and our partners, we will celebrate this love of learning by showcasing the opportunities to learn that exist in Balbriggan.”

“As we look forward to the second Our Balbriggan Loves Learning Festival, it is wonderful to see the tangible and practical benefits of the regeneration project coming to fruition,” Cllr Seána Ó Rodaigh, Mayor of Fingal said. 

“I wish the participants all the best and hope that they get great enjoyment and value from taking part in these events. Lifelong learning is for everyone.”

“The festival is one of the actions identified in the Our Balbriggan Rejuvenation Plan, which showed us that locals wanted to see greater adult learning supports and upskilling for mature citizens,” John Quinlivan, Director of Economic, Enterprise, Tourism and Cultural Development Department at Fingal County Council said.

“The inaugural Festival was postponed in 2020 due to COVID 19 and last year it took place online with a combination of learning showcases/videos and online live events, so it is great to see a move towards in-person events this year.”

“We were really keen to bring together an event that celebrates the people of Balbriggan and their amazing talent,” Theresa McNally, Senior Librarian of Fingal Libraries said.

“There are so many opportunities for learning – on the sports field, in the classroom or through clubs and activities – and we hope the festival and its events will showcase that talent and highlight further potential for learning in the community.”

Pic: Fintan Clarke.

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