Students Learning with Communities Project

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20th May 2011

For the second year running, the 4th year BSc (Hons) Human Nutrition and Dietetics successfully undertook a range of community-based projects.  Working with two of their lecturers in Human Nutrition and Dietetics, Mary Moloney and Sheila Sugrue, and the SLWC project team, the students implemented small intervention projects in St Michaels’s House, a centre for intellectual disability, Goirtín Skillbase Training Centre which provides rehabilitative training programmes for people with learning disabilities and mental health difficulties, the Vincentian Refugee Centre women’s group, the MAIN (Men Alone in No Man’s Land) Group and Rialto Day Care Centre.  Although these students had successfully completed their 26-week nutrition and dietetics hospital and community practice placements, they found the project work undertaken with the SLWC groups demanding.  Despite the challenges which had to be overcome, all reported the experience as extremely rewarding and a wonderful learning and life experience.  The four students nominated by their two lecturers for the SLWC award were Sarah Wrafter (team leader), Noelle Corrigan, Paula Hayes and Mary Horan who successfully shared their nutrition knowledge to improve the diet and lifestyles of the women attending the Vincentian Refugee Centre.

Mary Moloney and Sheila Sugrue were also given a well deserved award for their enthusiastic work in embedding Students Learning With Communities in the BSc Human Nutrition and Dietetics programme by the DIT President, Professor Brian Norton over the past two years.

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Given the success of the 4th year projects, Mary Moloney and another lecturer in Human Nutrition and Dietetics, Dr Clare Corish, incorporated a SLWC project into the year 2 Professional Practice Studies module of the BSc Human Nutrition and Dietetics.  Twelve older persons travelled into DIT, Kevin St on two occasions.  They were interviewed by the students who then prepared nutrition materials and provided talks and client advice to these older people.  The feedback from both the students and the older people was positive and the older people wish to return for a follow-up assessment by the students next Autumn.  Fiachra Duffy, the class representative, received a certificate of participation in SLWC on behalf of the class for the enthusiastic and hard work each class member put into this project.

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