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Housing charity Respond! hosts Graduation Ceremony

By Sean Ryan - 03 November, 2017

50 mature students from Waterford, Kilkenny and Portlaoise graduated with Level 5 Health Service Skills and Healthcare Support


Respond CEO Declan Dunne with Waterford Mayor Cllr Sean Reinhardt and graduates from the 2017 Respond! education programme.

Housing charity Respond! recently held a graduation ceremony for those who took part in its Healthcare programme in 2017.

The graduation ceremony for Level 5 Health Service Skills and Healthcare Support Students took place on 29th September 2017 at Johns College, the Folly, in Waterford City.  50 mature students from Waterford, Kilkenny and Portlaoise received their QQI Level 5 major and minor awards in Healthcare. Mayor of Waterford City and County, Cllr Sean Reinhardt and Respond! CEO Declan Dunne were both in attendance.

The Healthcare programmes were delivered by Respond! College in 2016-2017, and were part funded in Kilkenny by Carlow Kilkenny ETB, and in Waterford by Waterford Area Partnership. The students are now qualified carers and some of them are already using their qualifications in paid employment.

Speaking at the Graduation Ceremony, Programme Leader Sarah Barron said, “We are very proud of all our students who worked very hard throughout the year and deserve this great day of celebration. This programme really shows what can happen when the community pulls together. We are very grateful to all those who part funded the programmes, without whom it would not of been possible.” She added, “The students are looking forward to their careers as qualified carers as holding the Health Service Skills and the Healthcare Support Certificate is now a prerequisite for entry/advancement within the caring profession. Respond! College’s teaching philosophy means that the students’ life experiences, both personal and professional, is highly valued and this becomes the centre point of the entire learning process. This allowed students to share knowledge, skills and experience in ways that were mutually beneficial.”

Respond! was founded in Waterford in the early 1980s from Franciscan roots and membership. Founded by Fr. Patrick Cogan OFM. it was at a time when there was a need for housing for both young families and older persons in Waterford city.
Respond! College was formally established in January 2011. This step formalises the long commitment by Respond! Housing Association to education and training, and consolidates its pioneering work as both a housing association and education provider. The College campus is located in High Park, Grace Park Road, Drumcondra, Dublin 9, and has outreach centres in Waterford, Galway, Cork and Laois. A number of the programmes are offered through a blended learning method which allows for learners to engage in learning at their own pace in their own location, as well as having the opportunity to network with class colleagues on a regular basis.

Respond! College offers a range of academic programmes on the National Framework of Qualifications (NFQ) and also provides professional training courses. These programmes are accredited by QQI and the Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH).

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