Home > Soilse FETAC awards presentation.

Keane, Martin (2011) Soilse FETAC awards presentation. Drugnet Ireland, Issue 36, Winter 2010, p. 25.

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On Tuesday 12 October 2010, Soilse participants celebrated their achievements in adult education when they received Further Education and Training Awards Council (FETAC) qualifications. The event was held in the Sean O’Casey Community Centre in East Wall, Dublin 3, and the guest speaker was Pat Carey TD, Minister for Community, Equality and Gaeltacht Affairs, a portfolio that includes the national drugs strategy.  

Soilse is an addiction rehabilitation service operated on behalf of the Health Service Executive. The service operates from two buildings in Dublin, Henrietta Street (stabilisation) and North Frederick Street (drug-free and rehabilitation). The main aim of the service is to enable participants to become and remain free from dependence on substance use. Soilse places great importance on the value of adult education as a vehicle of personal empowerment and social reintegration. It has developed strong links with adult education providers in Dublin and many of its past and current participants have gone on to study at University College Dublin (UCD), Trinity College and NUI Maynooth.
The night belonged to the 96 candidates who were awarded certificates of FETAC Level 3 qualification following a combined total workload of 389 portfolios completed. From the perspective of Soilse, FETAC qualifications are an important step in progressing to further education and training. Six participants also received certificates for completing the Soilse–NUI Maynooth Return to Learning (RTL) course which has been designed and implemented by Soilse. The RTL course was designed to meet the needs of participants who were in full-time education and who were having difficulty dealing with the demands of academic life and college culture.
A number of participants performed monologues, poetry and drama sketches to illustrate the nature of their experience of addiction and their road to recovery. The performances were warmly received by the Minister and a large audience of family, friends and other past and present participants of Soilse.
Prior to presenting participants with their certificates, Minister Carey said: ‘Soilse is one of the best-thought-through programmes that you will see anywhere.’ This was a fitting tribute to the achievements of management and participants in navigating the difficult journey from addiction to recovery.
Martin Keane from the Health Research Board addressed the audience on the role of education in recovery from addiction and spoke about the contribution that education can make in developing recovery capital, a concept developed to illustrate the different resource dimension that can assist with addiction recovery.1 Recovery capital is the sum of resources consisting of social, physical, human and cultural capital that is necessary to initiate and sustain recovery from addiction. Education can play a role on all four dimensions; for example, it can improve social capital by opening up opportunities to develop new networks of friends, it can improve physical capital by increasing job opportunities which can improve living standards and conditions and it can improve cultural capital by exposing people to new values, beliefs and attitudes. Finally, perhaps the main contribution that education can make to recovery capital is through improving human capital, empowering people to look after their health, develop achievable goals and help with the day-to-day problem solving that is part of the process of addiction recovery.
1. Cloud W and Granfield R (2009) Conceptualising recovery capital: expansion of a theoretical construct. Substance Use and Misuse, 42(12/13): 1971–1986.
Item Type
Publication Type
Irish-related, Open Access, Article
Drug Type
All substances
Intervention Type
Issue Title
Issue 36, Winter 2010
Page Range
p. 25
Health Research Board
Issue 36, Winter 2010
Accession Number
HRB (Available)

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