Down Syndrome Cork Board members have a dream, a Field of Dreams, that our adult members with Down syndrome will have increased opportunities for meaningful work. Since the idea germinated a couple of years ago we have received support for our Dream from many and varied people and agencies in Cork, Ireland and beyond. One such agency is Cork Foundation and its CEO Padraic Vallely. Cork Foundation has taken our project into the stableyard of Cork initiatives which they support and it is a partnership which we truly welcome.
The Cork Foundation is a unique social enterprise fund, fueled by donations from Cork people at home and abroad who want to support social entrepreneurs in need of funding to bring about positive social change in Cork city and county. In a time of justifiable public scepticism of charitable organisations, we feel that working together helps to rebuild and maintain the public confidence that the majority of Cork charities deserve.
Recently we were invited by Padraic to address the Cork Association of New York. This is an active and interested group of first and second generation Cork people living in New York who visit Cork biennially, They make a positive contribution in a variety of ways to the place they call home.
We were delighted and wanted to send a little part of our dream back to New York. We organised a ceramic workshop where volunteers with and without Down syndrome came to make plant markers. In the clay we stamped leaves picked from the hedgerows of our Field and the words “Irish dreams grow here”. We really enjoyed making them and love how they turned out. Each one is unique, some use ‘creative’ spelling of the words and each one is beautiful. Most of all we love the thought that just as seeds disperse on a gentle breeze, these plant pot stakes are dispersing into the wider Cork diaspora and bring a little piece of our hope and confidence with them.
We were delighted with the opportunity to meet a delegate from the Cork NY Association and are very grateful for the fundraising donation resulting from the raffle at the Cork / NY Ball.
Thank you New York and most of all thank you Cork Foundation. May our partnership grow in mutual benefit