A group of horticulture students, who transformed an overgrown garden on the grounds of a Carrick-on-Suir secondary school, were awarded FETAC certificates to mark the completion of their training last week.
The certificates were awarded to trainees, who completed the Carrick-on-Suir based Local Training Initiative adult education course at the Nano Nagle Community Resource Centre.
The training they received was in the areas of communications, IT skills, personal effectiveness and horticulture.
As part of their training, the LTI course participants gave the dilapidated garden at the Mercy Convent St Joseph’s School in Greystone Street a face lift. The property is currently home to part of Comeragh College.
Speaking on behalf of the trainees, Debi Torpey said gardening was a process not a product and she spoke about how well the group gelled and how they all looked out for each other.
She thanked Pat Wallace, Gerry Everett and Paul Dalton, and also COSDA and FAS for providing them with this
Debi said they now felt they had acquired knowledge as learners in the area of horticulture to promote it as a career or as a hobby or just maybe to stimulate others to improve their environment through the art and science of horticulture.
Course coordinator Pat Wallace, speaking on behalf of Carrick on Suir Development
Association (COSDA), pointed out that since 2009, COSDA has touched the lives of almost 70 people in the Carrick on Suir area providing FETAC levels 4, 5 and 6 training.
He praised FAS for it benevolence, patronage and generosity.
Pat added that the LTI has enjoyed the support of many other agencies and is an example of how a multi-agency approach to tackling the economic recession can have an impact on a community.
He named the Local Employment Service, VEC, the Department of Social Protection, FETAC (now QQI), Carrick on Suir Town Council and of course COSDA all of whom have contributed to the success of this project.
He concluded by praising the course participants, who first visited the overgrown disused garden at the Mercy Convent St. Joseph’s School in Greystone Street in October 2011 and transformed teh space into what it is today through their commitment, persistence, drive and hard work.
COSDA Chairman Niall Walsh praised FAS for funding the project and regulating the quality of the work. He thanked Comeragh College for providing the land for the project and Cllr Patsy Fitzgerald, who oversees COSDA’s many projects.
FAS Community and Apprenticeship Training Executive Eamonn McGettigan congratulated the trainees and described their completed garden project as a tremendous achievement. He urged the trainees if they have not got any employment, to move on to the next stage of education.
A new LTI group is now in place doing the same course.