Making Life Better Together

Belfast Festival of Learning | Press Release



Learners Michele and Danny

Press Release| Monday 7 March 2016  

Be part of putting people at the heart of learning

The Belfast Strategic Partnership’s (BSP’s) Lifelong Learning Thematic Group has launched its first Belfast Festival of Learning today. This unique festival aims to demonstrate learning in all its forms across Belfast, covering:


The theme of the festival is ‘Learning for all’. It’s about putting people at the heart of learning, inspiring interest and enjoyment in learning.

Throughout this week (7-13 March), we are offering a wide range of learning activities and events that are also family friendly and accessible for all.

Launching the festival, Belfast Lord Mayor Arder Carson said:

“I am absolutely delighted to launch the Belfast Festival of Learning. Having access to learning provides fantastic opportunities to develop social skills as well as improving someone’s potential for employment. I want to ensure that all Belfast citizens have equal access to learning opportunities creating conditions for a better quality of life for everyone in the city.”

Danny Power, Lifelong Learning Thematic Group Chair is encouraging everyone to be part of the festival. “We hope, throughout the week, to highlight the breadth of learning opportunities that exist throughout the city and throughout the year. Learning in all its forms will be on show, be that learning to enhance your own personal confidence and capacity to deal with life’s challenges, as a tool for life or an opportunity to improve your knowledge or skills for improved employability. Learning opportunities and removing barriers to learning are important to help people maintain active lives and maintain good positive mental health. We can help to address inequalities that exist in the city through improved partnership working and using all available resources in a more focused and outcome based approach. Throughout this week, I encourage everyone to participate. Learning can happen anywhere at any time for anyone.”

Speaking at the event, OFMDFM Junior Minister Jennifer McCann, MLA, said: “This is an excellent initiative to encourage people in Belfast to embrace learning whatever their background or stage in life.

“I have seen at first hand the positive life changes that can come from being open to learning and new skills. As a Junior Minister with responsibility for children and young people, I know how it can lay the foundations for children developing the confidence and ambition to achieve their potential and improve their life chances. Later in life it can offer many benefits for being active and acquiring new experiences; which fits well with the vision of our Active Ageing Strategy.

“I urge everyone to take advantage of the activities and events on offer this week.”

The Belfast Festival of Learning is during the week of 7- 13 March 2016 where many organisations will showcase a diverse range of learning opportunities across Belfast for people of all ages, all backgrounds and all locations. We particularly want to showcase events that encourage the participation of groups and individuals who have experienced barriers in accessing learning opportunities.

For further information about the Belfast Festival of Learning and the Events Guide for the festival, visit: