Ten Year Milestone in April 2022

This week, Limerick-based charity Gateway To Education reached the milestone of 10 years in operation. They celebrated the occasion with friends, family, staff and volunteers both past and present.

Gateway to Education Limerick is a non-profit, social enterprise founded in Limerick in April 2012 to address economic and social barriers to education. At the time, founder Suzanne Roche was raising her own children and noticed the high costs of participating with the education system. She decided to try out appealing for donations of school books and uniforms to redistribute in the community to those who needed them. Her pop-up markets were a success and had huge interest. That led her to start the charity and go on to open a shop and run many projects over the years.

Gateway to Education works to relieve financial pressures on families throughout each school term by providing second hand school books and uniforms. Their work connects parents and families to resources that will ensure full participation in the school system and community. For many years they ran a homework club that provided an outlet for school students to receive academic help and support. This support was primarily provided by volunteering university students.

Unfortunately Covid put a halt on the club which they hope to reintroduce in the future.

An important aspect of their project work is the ongoing work experience project called the “Go Do It” Project. This project’s goal is to increase participation and achievement in education and boost employment opportunities among adults in the community by providing work experience and coaching.

The charity also focuses on sustainability through reusing and recycling paper and clothing waste. We ship out-of-date school books to Africa and Asia. This reduces the waste caused by frequently republished school books which leave older editions unusable in Ireland and it also provides educational resources to communities in need.

Founder Suzanne Roche says “We are delighted to reach our 10th anniversary supporting our community through education, training and helping those who access our projects to reach their full potential” – iLoveLimerick

Photography by Pawel Nowak