Tammy Smith writes on how the Dublin North West Area Partnership has helped her return to education.

I have had so much help from the Dublin North West Area Partnership over the years; firstly they assisted me regarding information and guidance on how to go about completing my leaving cert as a mature student and as a lone parent in 2003. The Partnership helped me with information relating to applying to Colaiste Ide, crèche arrangements and how to apply for any available funding and assistance. I completed my Leaving certificate as a part time mature student with Honours. I again returned to training and further in 2009 with the help of the partnership, they once again gave me advice and guidance on how to apply for training, what funding may be available and what would be expected of me.

On completion of that year I had successfully obtained Fetac Level 5 in Community Development and Healthcare with full distinctions. These achievements encouraged me to try and progress further I applied by CAO to Trinity College Dublin as an Independent mature student in 2010. Upon acceptance I again returned to the Partnership where they had organised classes which helped with applications, grant form requirements and information regarding the Hardship Fund. I have been availing of the Hardship fund for the past 3 and half years this has meant that the burden of travel expenses has been lifted. With the continuous help and guidance of The Partnership over the years I am now in my 4th year as a full time Mature Trinity Student studying Sociology and Social Policy.

Tammy Smith Nov. 2014