Monday, February 22, 2021




Roscommon Women’s Network’s CycleUP Group has been shortlisted for an AONTAS STAR Award in the Sustainable Development through Education category.

The STAR Awards (Showcasing Teamwork, Awarding Recognition) are an awards initiative organised by the national adult learning organisation, AONTAS, to recognise and celebrate the work undertaken by adult learning initiatives throughout Ireland.

The CycleUP group are upcycling unsold textile items from their charity shop into different products for sale. In doing so participants master new sewing, design, pattern making, and cutting skills as well as learning about the impact that textile waste has on the environment with expert trainers. The project has also developed a mentoring relationship with the Rediscovery Centre in Dublin with the aim of building this grassroots project into a regional hub for training, workshops, a visitor centre, and a sales outlet.

Commenting on the shortlist, Niamh O’Reilly, CEO of AONTAS, said the quality of nominations this year has been exceptional.

During the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic adult learning initiatives are continuing to provide essential supports and services to those adult learners most in need,” she said. “RWN’s CycleUp group is a brilliant example of this and we are delighted to have such a wonderful initiative shortlisted for a STAR award.”

STAR Award winners will be announced during the week of the Festival (1st-5th March 2021) and a celebratory event will also take place to acknowledge the incredible achievements of all of the groups involved.

The STAR Awards form a key part of the AONTAS annual Adult Learners’ Festival. Over the past fifteen years, the Festival has become a firm fixture in the Irish adult learning calendar, showcasing the range of learning opportunities available across the country and encouraging adults to try something new. The 2021 Adult Learners’ Festival is AONTAS’ first ever virtual Festival.

The STAR Awards are proudly sponsored by the Open University in Ireland and the Open College Network Northern Ireland (OCNNI), the Teachers’ Union of Ireland (TUI), Concern Worldwide, Quality and Qualifications Ireland (QQI), and the European Social Fund (ESF). Sponsors will be offering special prizes to all 2021 STAR Award winners.



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