Take the first step awareness campaign launched

September 3, 2018

Take the first step is Ireland’s campaign to support people who have difficulty with reading, writing, maths or technology to get the help they need.

Taking the first steps on any difficult journey requires courage and commitment – and for those who have difficulties with reading, writing, maths or technology, the stigma attached can prove daunting and discouraging. Often people who return to education say the hardest part was making the first call or taking the first step into an Adult Education Centre.

The campaign includes national and regional radio advertising, video and digital advertising on video on demand and social media, outdoor posters, as well as lots of interviews and independent media coverage. Everything encourages adults who have difficulty with reading, writing, maths or technology to contact a Freephone support line 1800 20 20 65 to get the help they need.  Once they make contact the National Adult Literacy Agency will put them in contact with their local ETB Adult Education Centre or tell them about other free services that will meet their needs. There is also a campaign website www.takethefirststep.ie with more information.

National advertising campaign

The Take the first step advertising campaign centres around four people sharing their stories through a variety of media channels. The content and message of each individual’s story focused on the benefits of returning to further education, as well as demonstrating that this issue is not confined to any particular demographic segment.

The aim is to promote individuals who had addressed their literacy difficulty with the objective of encouraging others to reap the rewards by doing the same. The primary call to action in the campaign is: Free, Confidential, Not alone and Take the first step.The campaign will be launched to celebrate International Literacy Day on Friday 7 September. It will run for three weeks.

Get involved – help us share these great stories

This year we produced wonderful videos of learners talking about how returning to education in their local ETB has changed their lives. We have no doubt that these stories will encourage other people who are considering returning to education to take the first step and call us.

We would be very grateful if you would support the campaign and share the videos above with your colleagues and contacts.

The campaign is managed by the National Adult Literacy Agency (NALA) and SOLAS, the State Further Education and Training Authority, with support from Education and Training Boards Ireland (ETBI). Adult Literacy is co-funded by the Irish Government and the European Social Fund (ESF) as part of the Programme for Employability, Inclusion and Learning 2014-2020.

For further information, please contact:


Clare McNally, National Adult Literacy Agency, cmcnally@nala.ie, 087 648 6292

Patrick Gleeson, National Adult Literacy Agency, pgleeson@nala.ie 086 7925363


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