An Cosán has been announced as a finalist in not one, but two, national awards in recognition of its pioneering digital inclusion work. The Tallaght-based community education provider will be heading to the finals of both the Charity Excellence Awards and Diversity in Tech Awards, both of which are being held in person with high profile award events. Together with its longstanding corporate partner Accenture, An Cosán has been shortlisted in the Best Corporate Charity Partnership category of the Charity Excellence Awards 2022. According to the award organisers, Charities Institute Ireland, this award will recognise the most successful partnership between a charity and a commercial organisation that has brought strong mutual benefits to both. The results will be announced at a gala dinner in the Clayton Hotel, Burlington Road, on Thursday 15th September 2022.
An Cosán’s Digital Inclusion Team has also been selected as a finalist in the Social Impact Award category of this year’s Diversity in Tech Awards (a sister event of the Dublin Tech Summit). This award will celebrate an individual, team or network that “is driving significant positive change that addresses social, political, environmental and economic challenges for communities”. The winners will be announced at an award ceremony in the RDS Concert Hall on Wednesday 21st September 2022.
An Cosán Deputy CEO Anne Genockey says staff at An Cosán were thrilled to hear their digital inclusion work had been recognised by the judges of these two prestigious awards. “An Cosán has been running computing and digital skills courses for people living in West Tallaght for many years and, with our growing network of over 220 community partners, we are now reaching thousands of adult learners across Ireland,” she says. “It is wonderful to have our work equipping adults with digital skills recognised in this way.
“As Ireland’s largest adult community education provider, we seek to reach those furthest behind first by providing adults with opportunities to learn,” she continues. “We particularly welcome people who struggled in school, early school leavers, parents returning to education and those for whom English is not their first language. Given that being able to bank, learn, work, shop and connect online with family and friends is an essential in today’s society, digital skills have become a central part of our education provision. We want to ensure that everyone can fully participate in society and reach their full potential.”
An Cosán Digital Inclusion Coordinator Mark Kelly says: “It is fantastic to see An Cosán’s efforts to tackle Ireland’s digital divide recognised by our peers in both the charity sector and the tech community with these two award nominations. As pioneers of online learning in the adult community education sector, we see first-hand the impact of Ireland’s digital skills deficit on our adult learners. Our learner-centred approach has seen us develop Digital Stepping Stones, a digital assessment tool and Get Yourself Online, Ireland’s first digital inclusion campaign. These initiatives have seen thousands of people take the first step to improve their digital competence and digital confidence. This would not have been possible without the support of our fantastic partners, such as Accenture and SOLAS.”
Pictured: An Cosán’s growing Digital Inclusion Team, which is leading the way in equipping adults across the country with the digital skills necessary to fully participate in today’s increasingly digital world