“With support, you can do it”

County Longford VEC is hosting an information evening, in the Longford Arms Hotel, Longford, on Monday February, 25 2013 between 5pm and 7.30pm in conjunction with Aontas and the adult learning festival. The event will provide adults with an opportunity to source information and advice on full-time and part-time courses available at the local VEC and the options available to them.

County Longford VEC is hosting an information evening, in the Longford Arms Hotel, Longford, on Monday February, 25 2013 between 5pm and 7.30pm in conjunction with Aontas and the adult learning festival. The event will provide adults with an opportunity to source information and advice on full-time and part-time courses available at the local VEC and the options available to them.

Ray Foran (36) is a born and bred Offaly man who moved to Longford seven years ago to take up a job in Castlepollard. The work soon dried up and with a wife and five kids to provide for, it wasn’t long before the midlands man found himself at the doors of Co Longford Vocational Education Committee’s (VEC) Guidance Service looking for assistance. He is currently back in education and learning a lot more about himself, than he ever imagined.

“I lost the job and was at a loose end,” said Ray, adding that he was “looking around on the computer” when he stumbled upon the VEC’s Guidance Service. “I was weary, I have to say when I headed off for that first appointment; but my wife said that she would go back to work if she had to, so I met Mary Farrell and it all started from there.”

At the Guidance Service, Mary spoke with Ray about his experiences, education and skills. She then asked him to tell her about him, and soon he realised he had a lot more to offer than he had previously realised. “You question yourself about whether or not you are doing the right thing,” he continued. “I was thinking about studying Social Care, but after chatting to Mary, I realised that there were other skills I needed to learn before taking on Social Care.”

Ray undertook a VETOS course in Business Managment, an area he excelled in, it has to be said and from there he got a place on his desired Social Care course. The Offaly man is now in his second year of the BA at nearby Athlone Institute of Technology (AIT). “I am really enjoying it and I have made new friends and have a lot more confidence in myself, added Ray.

“With the Guidence Service, you feel you can be yourself; you can talk to Mary and she will put you on the right path – it’s all about taking that step forward and once you do that there is help waiting for you. Yes, it is daunting and it has been tough, but with the support, you can do it. I would really like to thank my wife Samantha because without her, I would not be doing this.”