BRILL Family Resource Centre (BRILL FRC) is the Family Resource Centre for Ballybeg/Kilbarry, Larchville, Lisduggan and Manor St John.
BRILL FRC is funded by TUSLA through the National FRC Programme. This is Ireland’s largest family support programme delivering universal services to families across the country based on a life-cycle approach.
Each FRC operates autonomously working inclusively with individuals, families, communities, and both statutory and non-statutory agencies. FRCs are participative and empowering organisations that support families while building the capacity and leadership of local communities.
The programme emphasises involving local communities in addressing the issues they identify, and creating successful partnerships between voluntary and statutory agencies at community level.
“As an FRC, we work from the understanding that we live in both a society and an economy,” said BRILL RFC Manager Glenn Lynch. “Many communities do not derive the same Societal and Economic benefits as others. As an FRC, part of our role is to both challenge this, and look at strategies, that strengthen community capacity.”
He added: “The concept of the ‘Digital Divide’, which can be seen as the gap between those who have access to technology, the internet and digital literacy training and those who do not, has been something we had been looking at for a while. Connecting an identified need with a workable solution is always something we aim for.”
In 2020, Simon Harris (FG), Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science announced a €8 million in grant funding for Community Education under the Mitigating Against Educational Disadvantage Fund (MAEDF). Part of this fund was allocated by SOLAS to Waterford and Wexford Education and Training Board (WWETB) who have responsibility for the administration and management of the grants in the region. The fund has a particular focus on supporting the engagement and reengagement of Learners in the Community. BRILL has a long history of delivering education in the community and have a very strong working relationship with WWETB.
A subsequent application to access the MAED funding by BRILL FRC was received and supported by WWETB under four different strands:
- Digital Technologies,
- Learner Assistance,
- Reach-out and or Mentoring
- Covid 19 exceptional circumstances
Through this investment, BRILL FRC has been able to put in place a whole suite of supports for learners in the Community. These include:
- ATEC- our Adult Training & Education Coordination Project was launched which now will play a central role in the provision of Community Education courses in the communities we work in.
- Our soon to be launched Learning Hub, accessed on www.brillfrc.ie, will provide easy access to training course we provide as well as those run by other groups and agencies. We will aim to collate different courses in one place where the community can browse and select from. This site will enable to detailed access to course information, class notes, Zoom and class invites as well as send expressions of interest. Through this site, we will also actively engage the community to suggest course they would like to see in their community.
- The Purchase of over 40 devices to be used in the on-site/off site delivery of courses based out of BRILL FRC in Ballybeg and in the Community Hub in Manor St John where we also have an office.
- Our training rooms have been upgraded and equipment including projectors, screens, very high-quality video camera etc. have been resourced
- Promoting Community Education Courses in the Community, starting with the BRILL FRC Community Education Festival.
- Supporting Learners with education focused, Free Photocopying and Printing service.
With all of these resources now in place, we are now very excited to bring all of this to the Community. We look forward to fully utilising these resources and being able to work with the communities through a much stronger and well-resourced foundation.