SECAD ‘Thrive’ Graduates Reach for the Stars

On Friday 8th March 2024, ten participants from the SECAD ’Thrive’ programme graduated and received their certificates at a ceremony held at Midleton Football Club, hosted by SECAD. Awarding the Certificates was Toni McCaul, Programme Manager, SECAD, who congratulated all the participants, and complimented them on their great achievement.  Toni paid tribute to the participants’ dedication and commitment to the programme and commended the excellent collaboration between SECAD and Cope Foundation, specifically the Midleton Hub, where several of the Thrive students currently attend.

This dynamic collaboration saw two Community driven organisations coming together to the benefit of the Thrive participants.  The programme reaped success across several aspects of the participants’ lives. including confidence built, social connections formed, everyday life skills mastered, some progressing onto paid jobs, others participating in local work placements, more venturing into further education and training. And crucially, all who participated learned about their Rights and responsibilities, to be better advocates for themselves.

At the closing of the ceremony, Mary Jordan, Thrive Programme Coordinator congratulated all the participants and wished them all the best going forward into the future. It was abundantly clear that Mary was indeed very proud of the achievements of each one of the participants and genuinely hoped that they would keep in touch in the weeks and months ahead.

A special mention was made of local businesses and employers, Vision Ireland, Circle K, Roots Café, Centra to name a few, who were hugely important in facilitating work experience as well as paid employment.  Kudos also to the very popular ETB tutor, Aiden O’Brien, who masterfully captivated the group using drama as a tool to cover work preparation skills.

And finally, a huge thank you to Wayne McSweeney for providing as well as guiding the wonderful musical accompaniment on the morning with a truly inspiring and unexpected musical performance by some of the Thrive participants themselves. ‘Reaching for the Stars’ echoed through more than once on the morning.