Aurion Learning with Cooperation and Working Together (CAWT) has been named as a finalist in the Public Sector Digital Transformation awards for Best Community Engagement.

The inaugural Public Sector Digital Transformation Awards aim to acknowledge and celebrate outstanding achievements and groundbreaking innovations in the realm of public sector digital transformation.

Aurion Learning and the CAWT Partnership have been recognised for ‘Best Community Engagement’ for the Innovation Recovery Project’s Virtual Recovery College, a digital programme for training on mental health and wellbeing. This scenario-based, online learning content project was set up to support people with mental health and well-being issues, namely across Northern Ireland and the border counties of Ireland. Support to the project was provided by key partners including the HSE, Public Health Agency, Strategic Planning and Performance Group, Southern Health and Social Care Trust, Western Health and Social Care Trust and Belfast Health and Social Care Trust. It is the island of Ireland’s first-ever virtual recovery college, which focuses on self-management of mental health difficulties via a social and educational approach. CAWT was successful in securing EU INTERREG VA funding for this project and the Virtual Recovery College component.

Aurion Learning worked closely with the CAWT partner organisations to understand their objectives for the project, ensuring it was tailored to meet the needs of all stakeholders.

The interactive eLearning content included within the project covers 24 interactive modules on topics such as self-care, sleep, self-esteem, anxiety, depression and grief. All topics have been developed by co-production, which means that individuals with lived experience have collaborated with health professionals in producing the content. The content is user-friendly, personalised and engaging, giving people hope and the support they needed when facing emotional struggles.

This included auditory learning such as guided meditation, videos of real-life stories and experiences from people in Northern Ireland and Ireland, as well as content for non-verbal learners.

Since launching in March 2021, the project has:

  • Given more people access to free mental health resources as and when they need them.
  • Guided those with mental health issues on how to cope independently to help alleviate the pressure on healthcare services.
  • Helped provide access to healthcare services during the COVID-19 pandemic, when services were limited or on hold
  • Assisted GPs, carers, and anyone else supporting those with mental health issues.
  • Given quick access to healthcare resources at a time when waiting lists are increasing.

Commenting on the awards, Managing Director of Aurion Learning, Gavin Woods said:

“In a rapidly evolving digital world, continuous learning serves as the guiding compass to steer organisations towards success in the digital landscape. We're proud to be acknowledged for our collective efforts and remain dedicated to creating meaningful solutions that contribute to the well-being of all.”

Chief Officer at CAWT, Cathy McCloskey added:

“We are delighted to be shortlisted for this prestigious award and the recognition achieved for Ireland's first Virtual Recovery College, which supports individuals with mental health and well-being challenges. It is a testament to the CAWT’s partners commitment to building a supportive community that empowers individuals to find their path to well-being and make a positive impact on their lives. It is inspiring to see how it has improved access to mental health prevention and support initiatives.”

This latest recognition contributes to an expanding array of awards for Aurion Learning, having previously been acknowledged for achievements such as the Best Learning Team and the Best Unique or Innovative Learning and Development Programme in collaboration with the Health Service Executive and Tusla at the Brandon Hall Awards. Additionally, they secured victory at the CIPD Ireland Awards for their excellence in the category of 'Best Use of Technology in People Management'.

Further information on the conception and roll-out of this project can be found in our Learning Leaders series.

The Innovation Recovery Project was developed through funding from the European Union’s INTERREG VA Programme secured by the CAWT Partnership.

Cooperation and Working Together (CAWT) is the cross-border health and social care partnership for the Health Service Executive (HSE) in Ireland and the Southern and Western Health and Social Care Trusts, the Strategic Planning and Performance Group and the Public Health Agency in Northern Ireland.

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