Ballinasloe Training Workshop Canal House is celebrating 45 years as a Centre this year. Throughout the history of the organisation, there have been many staff and learners that have come and gone but two familiar faces have remained a constant.
Michael Bradley started working with Canal House 27 years ago and Phil Lucas 20 years ago. Michael worked as the Centre Caretaker and Phil as the Centre Administrator. Michael’s passion and dedication for the project is well known, he put his heart and soul into his work, keeping the Centre shining and running well, as well as feeding the trainees (and staff) and immediately tackling any job that needed to be done. Phil was a huge support to the staff and learners, both in her role as Administrator and also going above and beyond for anyone who needed help.
Canal House was the first Community based organisation set up under the Probation Service in the country. The project was set up with the aim to support young people in the community obtain employment skills and practical work skills and programmes that were also of benefit to the community.
They look to increase the skills, confidence and qualifications of their learners, enabling increased employment and life opportunities and outcomes, and reduction in re-offending. The key objective of the project is for clients to acquire sustainable employment or access to further training or education.
A retirement gathering was held in the centre recently to celebrate the pair’s association with the workshop. Manager Orla McCaffrey stated at the function: “We would like to express our gratitude for the many years of hard work and the great times we had working alongside them. All of us are proud to have worked alongside you both, your support, dedication and kindness will stay long with us all. More sincere, trustworthy and warm people it would be hard to find anywhere. And although we are all so sad to say goodbye the lovely memories, the fun times and warmth won’t be forgotten.”
Board Chairman Páraic Lawless stated: “The Centre has been lucky to have two such dedicated staff members and we are very appreciative of their work. They have embraced all of the changes over the years and been a huge support to all of the staff and trainees over this period. We wish the best of luck to Jamie Ward and Liam Lynch their replacements.”
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