Field of Dreams – Turning of the Sod

Press Release. 18th February 2017

The Field of Dreams is a horticultural and social farming initiative by Down Syndrome Cork which will provided meaningful work and life skills development opportunities for adults with Down syndrome. On Saturday 18th February, the ceremonial ‘turning of the sod’ was celebrated at the Field of Dreams ,in Clash Road, Curraheen, on a 3 acre site leased from Munster Agricultural Society. Adults with Down Syndrome were joined by their families, invited guests and supporters on this beautiful spring day to mark the culmination of five years hard work.
Ray O’Callaghan, Chairman of Down Syndrome Cork gave a brief background to the project, what inspired it, and why it is so badly needed. He thanked the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, the Department of Health and Cork Educational Training Board for their essential support.
Special guests included County Mayor Cllr Seamus McGrath, Minister Michael Creed TD, Kathleen Lynch and celebrity gardener Diarmuid Gavin – all of whom spoke eloquently about the challenges facing adults with Down Syndrome and their families. They acknowledged that the 95% unemployment rate among adults with Down Syndrome is unacceptably high. They also endorsed the aim of DS Cork in supporting its adult members to gain skills and experience that will improve their job opportunities.
Ray thanked the Cork business community for their help in making the Field of Dreams a reality, in particular the following key sponsors: PM Group, CField Construction, M&S, ESB, Keelings, Dansko Food Ltd.
A reception at the Kingsley Hotel, Victoria Cross ensued, with Dansko Foods kindly sponsoring refreshments for the 80+ people who attended. Adults with Ds hosted this reception, and they used this opportunity to showcase their own achievements and abilities.
The event was formally closed by Ray, who thanked everyone again for their support, and he commended the unwavering dedication of the Board members for to the project. He reminded all present that we DO need more financial support, we DO need expertise in different shapes and forms…we DO need volunteers….in his words ‘loads done, loads more to do!’
As a fitting note to the Sod-turning event, builders are scheduled to break ground at the site over the coming weeks.

For more information on being part of the Field of Dreams, contact Sharon Mulcahy on email sharon.mulcahy@fieldofdreamscork.ie

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