Teachers & Tutors (Adult Support Role) required for Down Syndrome Ireland’s Ability Programme in Field of Dreams

The Cork branch of Down syndrome Ireland are currently recruiting paid, part-time positions for our educational offerings from September 2019, based in Field of Dreams, Curraheen, Co.Cork. 

DSI Ability Programme – Work Skills 
DSI Ability Programme – Literacy & Technology 

Download all the details here.

Closing date for applications is Wednesday, August 7th.

Turning the Quad Purple

A Summer's Evening on the Quad at UCC is happening in aid of 4 charities on 13th July 2019

A Summer’s Evening at the Quad UCC

We are delighted to announce that Field of Dreams Down Syndrome Cork is one of 4 Charity Partners chosen to benefit from this year’s A Summer’s Evening on the Quad. Singing sensation Tommy Fleming will deliver a powerful performance of beloved classics and contemporary favourites on Saturday 13 July 2019.

Tommy is regarded as one of the finest singers worldwide, famous for his interpretation of “Danny Boy”, “Isle of Inisfree” and “Hard Times” all songs we know and love.  Tommy’s favourites also include “You Raise Me Up” to “Bridge over Troubled Waters”, “From a Distance” and “Something Inside So Strong” along with many more contemporary numbers.  

Tommy Fleming has a universal appeal to all ages and backgrounds and fans use words such as “deeply emotional, romantic and sincere” to describe his concerts. 

Purchasing tickets for A Summer’s Evening on the Quad is a special way to donate directly to our work at Field of Dreams, Down Syndrome Cork and 100% of the ticket value goes to support our work. Tickets are priced at €35 each. Field of Dreams Down Syndrome Cork wishes to extend our thanks to UCC, A Summer’s Evening on the Quad and their sponsors for this fantastic endorsement of our work.

Contact the DS Cork office on 021 – 430 04 44 to purchase tickets. More information about the event at http://summeronquad.ucc.ie/

Celebrating Ability and Ambition WDSD 2019

On World Down Syndrome Day 2019, we were invited on with Maura & Daithi on RTÉ Today. John and Sharon talked about the success story that is the Field of Dreams and how Down Syndrome Cork is one of 25 branches of Down Syndrome Ireland that is actively supporting adults with DS to train, gain practical skills and prepare for the workplace. Keep an eye out for the amazing footage of the Field of Dreams courtesy of our creative, artistic friends at Voxpro!


Locally, our Employment Support Specialist, Eva O’Donovan has placed 2 of our participants in work experience with Marymount University Hospice and Ryan’s SuperValu Togher, with 4 more job opportunities available at M&S Cork after graduation. Eva is a woman on a mission to achieve 100% placement for our participants at Field of Dreams, Cork.

Image shows young man with Down syndrome at a coffee machine holding a mug in his hand.

Two years after opening our doors, Field of Dreams Cork, currently has work opportunities identified for 75% of our participants who are due to graduate in July 2019. Compare that to the national statistic of 5%. Thats a figure that we are very proud of and it represents real change in the lives of our members and their families.

At Down Syndrome Cork, our aim is to stretch everyone, including everyone from babies to adults and leave no-one behind.  IF you have someone with Down syndrome in your life, please share the details of our open evening at Field of Dreams, Cork on Wed April 10th. It could be the start of a rosy future for them. We do our best to get our message to the whole Rebel county but we know we don’t reach everybody and your help is really important to us.

Please RSVP

Everyone welcome but be sure to get in touch to let us know if you are coming by emailing d.kelleher@fieldofdreamscork.ie .We’ll have the kettle on and the muffins baked!

AGM & Launch of Education Plan

Collage of images showing Field of Dreams trainees in different settings, mostly out of doors gardening

We are Sowing the Seeds now for our big plans for 2019 / 20

Come along to DS Cork / Field of Dreams AGM on Friday 1st March to hear about our Educational Plan for 2019 / 20

Whether you are an adult with Down syndrome interested in our courses or a family member we highly recommend that you come to our combined DS Cork / Field of Dreams AGM. We are launching our Educational Plan for the coming year and we think you will like what you hear.

Where? DS Cork, Unit 7 Kilnap Business Park, Old Mallow Road, Blackpool, Cork.

When? 8pm, Friday, 1st March 2019

We are dreaming…..

Festive greeting card with snow scene and photos of adults with Down syndrome wearing festive clothes
Christmas Card style image with snow scene and individual photos of Field of Dreams Cork participants dressed in festive clothing.

… 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.

Your Support

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.

The Dream Team is Growing

Eva O'Donovon is shown standing in the Field of Dreams office in front of a pop-up banner.

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.

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Activation Programme launches

Activation Programe goes gardening
The Activation Programme is a pilot, nurturing and holistic programme for adults who commit one day a week for 10 weeks. Activities are both indoors and outdoors but always person centred.

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.

Read more