Centre for Adult Continuing Education - Reports

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    Children's voices in housing estate regeneration
    (Government Publications, Dublin, 2015) O'Connell, Cathal; O'Sullivan, Siobhán; Byrne, Lorcan; Irish Research Council; Department of Children and Youth Affairs; Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government, Ireland; University College Cork
    Background: The theme of this research is children’s participation in housing estate regeneration. Estate regeneration can affect children’s lives in terms of their living conditions and environmental surroundings, and their sense of safety, belonging, place, identity and community. However, children’s voices are seldom heard in regeneration programmes. This research represents a first step in hearing the voices of children and young people and presents their views in relation to a major regeneration programme currently underway in the Knocknaheeny Housing Estate on the Northside of Cork City. Methods: The research methodology used was a rights-based approach entailing a range of qualitative and creative methods, including focus group activities and discussions, rap, photography and art. These methods ascertained children and young people’s views and experiences on what they like and do not like about their area, what they think is good and bad, and what they think should be changed. Ten focus groups involving 78 children and young people were held over the spring and summer of 2013. Key findings: Children and young people would like regeneration to achieve renewal of their area, a safer neighbourhood, a cleaner environment, a better reputation for the estate, and improved life chances and opportunities by: Enhancing community and personal safety through more effective community policing and housing management, addressing problems such as: anti-social behaviour and disruptive tenants; public drinking; drug dealing; violence and intimidation. Improving existing amenities and the local environment through: new and better quality houses; providing effective refuse collection and litter removal; maintaining green areas and open spaces; improving recreation, sports and leisure amenities; considering the impact on young people when lanes are closed in response to residents’ petitions; managing through-traffic and road safety; providing new amenities to reflect their current interests; improving bus services to the area and connectivity with the wider city. Providing educational and employment opportunities through: training, apprenticeships and employment in the regeneration programme; promoting commercial and retail investment in the local economy. They also highlight some of the disruptive impacts of regeneration in terms of: losing their homes due to demolition; re-location of families and friends to addresses outside of the estate; the associated impact on their social networks, friendships and family connections. All of the participants want to be involved in the decision-making around regeneration. The older groups, however, are more cynical about having an influence and are critical of the omission of children and young people’s voices. Conclusions and Recommendations: The research highlights the importance of actively listening to the voices of children and young people and enabling their capacity as agents to influence change. There are three main sets of recommendations arising from this research relating to: regeneration guidelines; estate management; capacity-building.
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    Learning Neighbourhoods pilot programme
    (University College Cork, Centre for Adult Continuing Education, 2016-12) O'Sullivan, Siobhán; Kenny, Lorna
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    Cork Learning Neighbourhoods
    (University College Cork, Centre for Adult Continuing Education, 2017) O'Sullivan, Siobhán; Kenny, Lorna