Belfast Telegraph

Friday 1 August 2014

Adult learners have a ‘creche’ on Kilcooley

Kilcooley Women’s Centre marked their scholarly success at a recent awards ceremony with over 600 certificates issued to graduates on the day — many of which “could only complete their studies thanks to the on-site creche facilities available”.

Kilcooley Women’s Centre (KWC) held their graduation day earlier this month where over 250 adult learners collected their certificates.

Alison Blayney, KWC director said: “We had 50 children using the creche while their parents studied at the centre this year — as far as I’m aware we are the only adult learning facility in the whole of County Down to have this service.

“We are well aware how important this creche is for many who study with us. For some, they would just not have the opportunity to do an adult learning course without it — and despite what many people think, the creche is not statutory funded.”

This year, 48 women took their GCSE exams with the centre. Local woman Sabrina Lily was named student of the year Student of the year.

Alison added: “Sabrina has been studying with us for several years and is a great role model for other students and mentors younger women in the classes she is in.

“Sabrina is also one of the many women on our range of courses that avails from our creche facility.”

Steven Agnew, North Down Green Party MLA lent his support for the day. He told the Community Telegraph: “I want to congratulate all those people who have participated in the wide variety of courses that the centre runs and praise those who organise these educational programs and are on hand to help support and motivate the students every step of the way.

“This graduation ceremony is the culmination of a lot of hard work and this kind of support is an excellent way to boost educational qualifications and self-esteem.

“At a time when concern has been raised about educational underachievement in protestant working class areas, Kilcooley Women’s Centre is doing something positive to address this worrying trend and leading by example by reaching out and meeting the needs of the community.”

“These courses and the educational success they bring will have long-term positive effects for everyone who took worked so hard and both the organisers and the students involved should be congratulated. I wish them all every success for the future.”

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