… of another fantastic year in DS Cork, Field of Dreams.
To all our members, families, friends, supporters – thank you to each and every one of you who has helped us achieve our goals in 2018 and we hope you will continue to support us into 2019. Remember, a dream is not just for Christmas! Read on for a recap on all the wonderful things that 2018 brought.
We have 2 programmes running with 16 participants in total. All are adults with Down syndrome from the Cork region. As we write, 8 trainees are on Work Experience in Marks & Spencer Cork, learning invaluable skills for future employment. These participants are working towards two QQI Level 3 Awards in Work Experience and Planting and Potting by Hand. And we can assure you they are having great fun along the journey. The other 8 participants attend our Activation Programme which supports their social, communication and life skills. The Field of Dreams is a unique model of social farming , where all those learning, working & volunteering here get to enjoy all the benefits of working in nature in this inspirational, holistic and joyous horticultural site.
Growing and Harvesting
2018 has seen another transformation on site. We may have had the infrastructure from last year but this year we have ‘grown’ into it! . We are expanding production in 2019. The Field is now home to a serene remembrance garden. We have hosted events and attended others, including The World Down Syndrome Congress in Glasgow, Social Farming Training in Mallow, BLOOM in Dublin & National Social Enterprise Forum in Thomond Park. We also had a fantastic presence at the Munster Agricultural Society Summer Show where we sold our first ever produce from the Field of Dreams- that was a very special moment for all of us!
Our team is growing also: Along side our manager Debbie Kelleher, horticulturalist and CETB tutor Nicky Green , CETB tutor Deirdre Fraher, we have recently been joined by Eva O’Donovan, employment support specialist and Mike Walsh, market gardener, We also have a wonderfully committed team of volunteers and Mary Coakley who is on Rural Social Scheme placement with us. Our front of house team is supported by our ‘back office’ team; Sharon Mulcahy, project development manager and Therese McGrath, accountant with admin and moral support provided from Down Syndrome Cork offices in Blackpool.
None of this can be done without the support of our sponsors. From government agencies including the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, the CETB,the Cork County Council, & SECAD to the many small to large businesses of Cork, to every individual who organises a coffee morning or who gives up their time to help us on site, we are truly grateful for the support. The support of local organisations including the Munster Agricultural Society is hugely important to us, as is that of our neighbours around Curraheeen & Clash Road. You really are supporting the realisation of dreams.
May we take this opportunity to wish you and yours a very Happy Christmas and a fruitful 2019. Go raibh míle maith agat agus na Nollaig sona duit.
Debbie, Sharon and all the team at Field of Dreams, Cork.
At Field of Dreams Cork we are delighted to welcome Eva O’Donovon to the team at Curraheen! Eva is joining us as Employment Support Specialist and brings 17 years of HR and recruitment experience with her.
At Field of Dreams Cork one of the ultimate objectives for our trainees is placement in meaningful employment. In this newly created role, Eva’s brief is to support both the trainees and potential employers towards meeting this objective. Her background in training, work placement, mentoring & coaching makes her eminently qualified to do so.
In March of this year our one day / week Activation Programme commenced on a 10 week pilot basis. This programme aims to provide meaningful activities and ongoing learning opportunities in the magical and safe environment of the Field of Dreams. It is geared at those adults who wish to partake in a variety of social and practical activities and gain new experiences in areas such as horticulture, catering and arts and crafts.
Our design and construction partners, ‘PM Group and C-Field Construction, are managing this project on a pro-bono basis and have been instrumental in delivering the completed site to a superbly high standard, on time and within budget.
C-Field Construction leave no stone unturned for Field of Dreams.
We may have been quiet online recently but only because we have been really busy on site. The excitement is mounting every day as the plan takes shape before our eyes under the expert and careful eye of C-Field Construction Site Foreman, Gerry Ryan. Gerry, seen with our own Ray O’Callaghan, and his team have been fantastic – a pure pleasure to work with and seem to be enjoying helping the dream unfold as much as we are. As you can see from the image, the construction work is very nearly complete and it seems an excellent time to thank C-Field Construction for their huge support of this project. Míle buíochas leis an bhfoireann ar fad.
Active Leisure will host a Charity Family Fun Day from 2 to 5pm on Sunday, April 23rd in Ballincollig Rugby Club, in conjunction with Down Syndrome Cork’s Field of Dreams.
The Field of Dreams is a horticultural and social farming initiative by Down Syndrome Cork which will provide meaningful work and life skills development opportunities for adults with Down Syndrome.
On the day, activities will include bungee trampolines, train rides, bouncing castles and slides, face painting and much much more.
Admission is €20 per family (two adults and up to three children) or €5 per person and all rides and entertainment be included in the admission price.
Rory O’Sullivan, the event organizer from Active Leisure Entertainment, said that this will be a large-scale family fun day extravaganza, which will feature activities and entertainment for all ages, and that anyone attending will be supporting this very worthy cause.
Family tickets are available at the gate of Ballincollig Rugby Club on the day. For further information please contact Active Leisure on 087 2795848.
A great day of fun guaranteed at the Ballincollig Rugby Club on Sunday, 23rd April. This event is a family fun day organised by Active Leisure and proceeds will benefit DSCork Field of Dreams. Entry is a flat rate of €5 or a family ticket is €20.
Bouncy castles, obstacle courses, games, food and goodies – you name it and it will be there!
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