Conway Education Centre
Conway Education Centre
Conway Education Centre
Conway Education Centre
Detailed Information

Conway Education Centre

Location: 2nd Floor, Old Mill

Conway Education Centre (CEC) is a unique community-based education centre situated on the interface between the Falls Road and the Shankill Road in West Belfast. The Centre provides learning opportunities to adult learners, young people and children, it provides a range of volunteering opportunities to gain valuable work experience, be active in the community and make new friends. Conway also provides English language classes and homework support to local refugees and those seeking asylum.

Our mission

To empower people through providing learning opportunities in a supportive environment and transform lives through learning.

Our goals

  • Supporting the development and regeneration of the local community through learning and capacity building and providing opportunities for educational progression
  • Championing community education as a tool for community engagement and providing opportunities for educational progression and employment
  • Contributing to improved health, particularly the mental and emotional wellbeing of the local community
  • Actively promoting a creative and safe reflective space to facilitate community dialogue, cultural expression and diversity, and creative problem solving
  • Ensuring the maintenance of an accountable, tansparent, participative and sustainable organisation

Conway Education Centre engages over 800 individuals a year in education and this number continues to rise each year. We provide a safe and supportive environment for learning opportunities, enabling local people to improve their confidence and skills in order to fulfil their potential, enhance their chances of employment, and participate in the development of their community.  CEC has a strong track record of providing value for money.  We are accountable and transparent and we have a core commitment to our learners. One of our key strengths is our learner-centred approach. We have developed successful strategies, approaches and support systems that encourage learners back to education. We use a variety of evaluation and impact measuring tools, engaging all our stakeholders, to ensure our services are effective and resources are spent efficiently.  Conway Education Centre is embedded in the local community infrastructure and is an active member of the West Belfast Partnership Board, Neighbourhood Regeneration groups and the Greater Falls Family Support Hub. We work in partnership with the Belfast Metropolitan College, University of Ulster, Queens University and the Open University.  Hundreds of people a year are re-connected with education at CEC, gaining meaning qualifications and life-skills.  Our youngest learner is 7 and the oldest is 81 years of age. The centre makes a significant contribution to social inclusion and community cohesion of the area.

Conway Education Centre started in 1982, an initiative of local people responding to the need for opportunities for people to educate themselves.  The initiative found accommodation in a disused Linen Mill which had just been bought by a group of community activists. Committed volunteers cleared the rubbish, put cardboard in front of broken windows, put up stud-walls to create classrooms, cleaned and brought in some of the old-fashion super-sers to get heat in the place. Volunteer teachers started classes in Philosophy, English, Maths and Politics.   From these early beginnings, CEC has grown into a recognised charitable organisation, well known in the community for its supportive and encouraging environment, excellent learner support and wide range of accredited and unaccredited courses; enabling all local people to improve their confidence and skills.