Energia Get Ireland Growing Funding Granted To Projects in Laois

The community food growing fund ‘Energia Get Ireland Growing’ created by GIY (Grow It Yourself) in partnership with Energia has awarded a fund of €75,000 to food growing projects all across Ireland.

The teams behind 86 community projects will each receive funds for their unique projects. The recipients include community groups, schools, NGOs and Not for Profits, community gardens and allotment groups, GIY groups, hospitals, crèches, direct provision centres and men’s sheds from Kerry to Donegal and beyond. Each group will be awarded funding ranging from €500 to €2,000 with one group receiving €5,000. All of the projects have an inclusive approach and they all aim to encourage more people to grow their own food within their community.

Energia Get Ireland Growing Funding Granted To Projects in Laois

Pictured at the Ernergia GIY Get Ireland Growing Awards is maura Derrane RTE, Karen O’Donoghoe GIY, Michael Kelly GIY and Nuala Carey RTE

Just a few of the 86 Projects set for support include the Recovery Garden in Kilkenny who provide rehabilitative services for people with mental health issues including therapeutic horticulture; Knockanrawley Resource Centre Organic Garden Tipperary a community development project creating employment and facilitating families to grow organic food locally; at Camphill in Dingle County Kerry a reduced mobility garden offers residents and day attendees to enjoy planting and growing in the outdoors via especially designed raised beds; at the Ballymun Adult Read and Write Scheme in Dublin staff and adult learners and enjoy planting and growing an abundance of vegetables in their courtyard; and at the Dublin Migrant Women Community Garden assistance is provided by serving the homeless through their collecting, growing and cooking food.

The project announced as the winner of the €5,000 fund is The Edible Landscape Project, a training and education initiative in Westport, Co. Mayo. The team behind the project say that they are honouring local biodiversity as well as beautifying the town of Westport by creating an opportunity for recreation, exercise therapy and education in the forest garden, to producing nutritious food.”

 In Laois an Energia Get Ireland Growing funding award goes to Erkina House, High Support Hostel, Rathdowney and Camross Tidy Towns.

Erkina House, High Support Hostel, Rathdowney, Laois

At Erkina House the team says that residents enjoy the physical part of the preparation of the ground and the planting of the seeds. But especially they enjoy eating the fruits of their labour. And while some are too old to physically dig the soil they will sit and watch and give advice.

Last year the group bought window boxes, so now they plan to buy compost & bedding plants and for the garden plan to get seed potatoes, onion setts and veg seeds, turnips, parsnips, beetroot and sweet corn.


Camross Tidy Town – installing Camross Community Garden at Mountrath Laois.

The group efforts on site hard landscaping, raised beds & shed shelter are nearing completion. They plan to spend their funding on gardening equipment & tools to ensure and to enable more people to join in and start to grow food. The equipment will be shared & stored communally.

Commenting at the awards ceremony, the founder of GIY Michael Kelly said, “Today is a huge highlight of our many events annually here at GIY. It is a real honour to meet the people behind some of the most incredible projects being organised mostly by volunteers in communities right across the country. We are delighted to award the recipients of the 2018 Energia Get Ireland Growing fund, we along with Energia share in the joy of helping 86 community groups to get their food growing initiatives underway or further developed in parishes, towns, villages and cities across 27 counties.

Amy O’Shaughnessy from Energia “This year 747 groups applied for funding through Energia Get Ireland Growing, a sure sign that community spirit and volunteerism are thriving all across the country. We’re so proud of this wonderful campaign and our partnership with GIY and truly delighted to be able to support so many fantastic projects. We’re really looking forward to seeing the end results and wish all awardees the very best in their endeavours.”

In addition to the funding provided, GIY will also provide additional supports and opportunities for knowledge exchange between the projects, helping the best ideas to be shared through ‘Energia Get Ireland Growing’. All of the projects remain part of the GIY network in the long term, giving them access to other GIY resources and additional groups and projects within the network, creating a long-term legacy.

This is the sixth year of the fund, which has already supported over 500-community food growing projects to date, positively impacting over 140,000 people. €410,000 has been awarded over the last six years and this was distributed to projects all across the country.

Some of the previous flagship projects include, a grow garden for the Irish Wheelchair Association Centre in Carlow, project funding for a community garden initiative for the South Inner City Community Development Association supporting residents of the Liberties, a food growing project for Galway Simon’s new Residential Service ‘Tuí Bhrian’ in Galway City which caters for youths aged 18 to 25 years of age. In Monaghan, Youth Work Ireland in Clones use a derelict piece of land behind their youth cafe to build a vegetable patch; Recovery Haven in Kerry offer use of an organic fruit and veg garden club at their free cancer support centre for the people of Kerry, to name but a few.

For further details on the ‘Energia Get Ireland Growing’ 2018 see GIY.ie




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