Community Partners

We partner with community education organisations around Ireland to provide access to virtual programmes at affordable rates. Local centres provide a place where students can access the technology they need, creating peer learning communities.

As knowledge and skills develop at a local level, it allows us to share best practice right across our national network. Together, we work to empower learners, their families and communities.

We have established partnerships with community groups and national organisations all over the country to share knowledge and experience and bring community education, especially higher education programmes, to communities experiencing the challenges of poverty, inequality and educational disadvantage.

Our Partners

Longford Women’s Link (LWL) has been providing a wide range of community services since 1995. It’s an Education and Training (QQI) and Outreach Centre for UCD, NUIM and the Irish Academy of Public Relations. Given its rural location and the levels of regional disadvantage, LWL offers unrivalled opportunities to students offering the chance to access third level education through An Cosán.

Clare Women’s Network (CWN) is a feminist organisation based in Ennis, and one of 17 networks in Ireland under the National Collective of Community Based Women’s Networks. CWN offers courses to women in disadvantaged communities, supporting the development of women’s groups, providing one-to-one supports and raising awareness on the many issues affecting women in Clare.

Roscommon Women’s Network (RWN) supports women and their families, reaching out to those who are hardest to reach. Services include a Drop-in Centre, Information and Resource Centre, a Training Centre and a Social Enterprise charity shop. Training Services offer a range of FETAC Level 4 and 5 courses and they are currently piloting An Cosán’s Level 6 ‘Studying at Third Level’ programme.

Southill FRC serves over 2000 people on the south side of Limerick city. FETAC accredited since 2008, it has since awarded over 1,500 learners. In 2013 they partnered with An Cosán in a Pilot eLearning project to offer a Level 7 Special Purpose award for adult education tutors, and are now working with An Cosán to provide new IT and Active Citizenship programmes.

One Family works to ensure a positive and equal future for all members of all one-parent families in Ireland, changing attitudes, services, policies and lives. It is committed to achieving equality and respect for all families. As well as striving for fundamental structural change, One Family supports individual parents through times of family, work and life change.

The Congress Resource Centre is part of the Congress Network established in 1980, to provide support resources and a wider range of services to the unemployed. All their services are provided with the aim of promoting social cohesion and justice so people can fully participate in the community.

The Matt Talbot Community Trust is a drug free community education programme endeavouring to create change from a grassroots level in Ballyfermot. They tackle the unique social issues that lead to problem drug use and criminal behaviour through the provision of a quality education system and structured, person-centred supports.

The mission of Southend Family Resource Centre is to work with the Southend Community, Wexford, to improve the quality of people’s lives by identifying their needs and issues and to develop responses that specifically address these needs and issues by prioritising disadvantage and social inclusion

The Irish Men’s Sheds Association supports the development and sustainabaility of Men’s Sheds in Ireland. A Men’s Shed is a dedicated, friendly and welcoming meeting place where men come together and undertake a variety of mutually agreed activities. It is open to all men regardless of age, background or ability.

Women’s Centre Derry promotes women’s equality and access to education, employment, social and economic life. They provide a range of education programmes and support activities to deliver this.

Their priorities are Women’s equality; Community cohesion; Peacebuilding; and Multi-Culturalism.

They do all of this in order to provide advocacy, empowerment and practical solutions on the ground and at the coalface, where injustice, inequality and isolation are experienced.

South West Mayo Development Company is a local integrated development company operating across Mayo through rural development programmes, social inclusion programmes and social employment schemes.

Waterside Women’s Centre provides community based education and support.  They aim to give women the confidence, skills and qualifications needed to achieve their full potential. They provide onsite childcare focused on the needs of the child. They remove the barriers to enable women to pursue their own development.

Inishowen Development Partnership is a local development organisation that works to achieve positive change in the lives of people and groups in Donegal. They aim to tackle poverty and inequality, promote social inclusion and create a stronger community, by working collaboratively with community/voluntary organisations, statutory & social partners. Through an integrated process of education and action, their mission is to enable individuals and their communities to address issues of social and economic disadvantage, facilitated through a partnership approach firmly committed to the principles of participation, empowerment, equality and social inclusion

Waterford Area Partnership (WAP) is a Local Development Company providing social inclusion supports and services to communities, social interest groups and individuals living and working in Waterford City & County.  WAP is the Programme Implementer for SICAP and the sponsoring body for a range of labour market schemes and activation programmes within its geographical remit.

SWICN is a community development organization founded in August 1994, based in the south west inner city of Dublin, an area rich in cultural and historical significance. It was established in response to the need for an integrated approach to deal with the problems of the region. Apart from providing a range of  services SWICN creates a forum for raising issues affecting the local community. All development strategies undertaken by SWICN are informed by the philosophy of community development and participative democracy in the decision making process.

Pobail Le Chéile are a community development organisation affiliated to Community Work Ireland committed to equality, social justice and human rights. They engage in community-based education as a means to inform, organise and empower local communities.

Dublin Simon Community believe meaningful activities are central to providing structure, purpose, wellbeing, intellectual stimulation, self-esteem, socialisation and independence in the lives of people using our services.

They offer literacy tutoring, computer classes and creative arts (art, writing and photography) group sessions.

Kerry Diocesan Youth Service helps young people reach their potential and overcome challenges, through high quality programmes as well as supporting communities all over Kerry by providing vital youth clubs, opportunities and activities.

They are already supporting over 6,000 young people and they want to do even more.

KDYS has an exciting vision for all young people in Kerry. A future where all young people can realise their potential, a future where young people can learn the skills needed for their lives today, and to ensure a healthy and successful future.

Camara Ireland is a social enterprise that supplies quality low cost ICT equipment and educator training to schools and and the non formal education sector across Ireland. To date they have supplied over 8,500 devices and delivered training to over 3,000 educators in schools, youth centres and community groups across Ireland

DCU in the Community is a community outreach centre linked with DCU. They provide educational opportunities to local people in order to increase participation levels and to promote equality in higher education.

They seek to promote sustainable community development and act as bridge between the community and the university.

They offer flexible learning programmes, and a ‘drop-in’ centre for advice on education options and community volunteering.

Irish Association of Community Training Organisations (IACTO)

Since 1977 Community Training Centres (CTCs) have been providing community-based training for early school leavers aged 16-21 in Ireland who would otherwise have been excluded from active participation in both the workforce and in society.

IACTO was established in October 1999 as representative body for Boards of Directors of Community Training Centres. The Department of Education and Skills (DES) provides funds to SOLAS to support further education and training provision provided by ETBs who then contract with and fund CTCs.

IACTO provides support to CTC Boards including a range of management HR services to develop, promote and enhance the delivery of quality training outcomes for learners.  The service aim overall is to empower voluntary Boards through capacity building and continuous professional development.

Mayo North East was established in June 2008 as an integrated LEADER Partnership company. It manages various Programmes on behalf of various Government Departments and the EU for the collective benefit of the people and communities of Mayo.  For example the Social Inclusion and Community Activation Programme (SICAP), Mayo JobClub, Local Employment Service, Community Employment and Rural Social Scheme. Supporting communities and individuals.

County Wicklow Partnership (CWP) was formed as a result of a merger between Arklow Community Enterprise, Wicklow Working Together and Wicklow Rural Partnership. The company came in to effect on 1st January 2009. The work of the company is carried out through a series of publicly funded programmes and projects, funded largely through the Department of Environment, Community and Local Government, Pobal and the HSE. County Wicklow Partnership’s activities cover all of Co. Wicklow.

Frequently Asked Questions

Want to find out more about Student Support, Courses, Programmes, Community Partners or anything else about the services we offer?

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Digital Stepping Stones

Our Digital Stepping Stones (DSS) assessment tool makes it easy for people to find out what digital skills they have and where they need to upskill to fix any gaps in their personal digital divide.

Try the Digital Stepping Stones tool

Skills to Succeed Academy

Accenture and An Cosán have come together to roll out a virtual ‘Skills to Succeed Academy’ around Ireland. The interactive online training programme, developed by Accenture, gives people the skills and confidence to choose the right career and ultimately better position them to get a job or build a business. Contact our coordinator Mark Kelly to learn more at

Register for Skills to Succeed