"We are living in a new economy - powered by technology, fuelled by information, and driven by knowledge."

The education model that had been traditionally rolled out in Matt Talbot incorporated modular learning reinforced by one to one mentoring support, focus on study skills and assignment completion. We felt that critical thinking, problem solving and communication were constant themes that shone through in other aspects of programme content and our revised educational approach should emanate from this concept.

With this in mind,we are in the process of migrating all  programme activity to a Project Based Learning approach with a focus on Value Creation Pedagogy.

Through this change, we aim to create an environment within which all participants who come to our programme will exit independent of services; become more engaged with key systems to support the individual as a responsible citizen; engaged in lifelong learning building social capital at community level increasing self-esteem, confidence and personal satisfaction through the development of social and life skills; increased agency and autonomy, the development of new friendships, improved and sustained relationships, and enhancing contact with people and the community.

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Personal Support

“Think Globally, Act Locally”

‘Inside Out’ is an innovative hybrid of therapy and discussion-based social education designed to cater for all learning styles and needs.

In 2015, MTCT developed and piloted a pioneering programme that was designed to bring about a greater understanding of the connection between the individual self, the community, and the global. This includes the impact of global issues such as the rise of populism, climate change, migration, and conflict on the community and the individual. The aim is to engage participants to think critically and to empower them in becoming active citizens.

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Digital Story telling Wicklow Way

Dean points at the image of Dublin city in the video himself and his friend Darren made.

Three months ago, Dean and Darren were feeling that they were wandering aimlessly and that they needed support to get rid of the things that were holding them back. Since then, they have joined the Matt Talbot Community Trust and are now working on a digital storytelling project in the community.

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Family Supports

Providing support to families of those involved with the Matt Talbot Community Trust is central to our holistic approach to rehabilitation. We recognise the importance of a strong family unit in supporting those in recovery from addiction or reintegrating having spent time in prison.
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Outreach Works

  • We extend our support to post programme outreach to create an enduring impact on our participants' future
  • This one-to-one engagement is also supported by the continued tradition of gathering together for a meal each day
  • Every aspect of the programme is recognised as a learning opportunity for the community to learn and evolve together - both staff and participant - and every individual helps to shape and evolve our programme to best suit the needs of the group so within this context we continue to learn. The programme is evolving into project based learning and its application into industry and living skills.
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Future Options Programme

The concept of our Future Options Programme was borne out of our experience of working with participants who have no or limited knowledge of the working environment, skills required, sustaining/follow through on agreed actions.

The programme seeks to equip participants with the necessary skills and competencies for a successful move on to further education and/or employment. The core driver is the continued development of a flexible personal profile which allows participants to explore different interests and options. This is bolstered through work experience placements that aid participants in developing a diverse array of employability skills.

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Care Planning

Care planning and case management are a vital element of the programme at the Matt Talbot Community Trust. All participants partake in one-to-one sessions with a Project Worker on a weekly basis and participants are encouraged to be actively involved in the development and ownership of their care plans.

Outcome Star

Care planning is at the core of developing trusting relationships between staff and participants at the Matt Talbot. The use of the Outcomes Star assessment tool has been integrated as a framework for all care planning. Outcomes Stars are evidence-based tools designed to support positive change and greater wellbeing, with scales presented in a star shape and measured on a clearly defined ‘Journey of Change’. The Outcomes Star is completed as part of conversations between individuals and support practitioners such as key workers

They aim to empower participants to be active participants, working collaboratively to devise solutions alongside professionals. The Outcomes Star has been said to encourage a “reversal of role, underlined by power and knowledge, usually represented in evaluations by the powerful funder, the mediating evaluator and a less powerful service user” (Ardvison& Kara, 2013, p.13).

Participants respond positively to the Outcomes Star, and value being involved in identifying their strengths and needs and of seeing their progress visualised on the Star. The Journey of Change underpinning the scales is strengths based and identifies progress in terms of attitude, motivation, and engagement with services as well as changes in practical circumstances and behaviour. There is a growing consensus that these outcomes are important to achieving longer term change and maintenance of positive change and well-being (McNeil, Reeder & Rich, 2012)

Interagency Work

The Matt Talbot has adopted the Interagency Protocols, a framework through which all the drug agencies in Ballyfermot can work more effectively together.

Within the field of addiction, it is widely accepted that participants have diverse and multiple needs. Hence it follows that it is unlikely that any single agency can provide everything that is needed to address the issues contained within this cycle of addiction. If services are not co-ordinated, service users can have difficulty negotiating the complex service network, ‘fall between the cracks,’ fail to receive the help they need, and/or be subjected to unnecessary delays, frustration, trauma, and intrusion into their lives.

On the other hand, when services are well coordinated, it reduces the need for multiple interviews, which, in turn, cuts down on trauma and inconvenience for people and reduces wasteful overlap and duplication. The Matt Talbot has fully integrated these policies into our assessment and case management systems when participants are engaged with other agencies.