On Wednesday, 10th April from 6.30 pm to 8.15pm the gate to the Field is being swung wide open. We hope to welcome prospective trainees interested in our programmes commencing in September of this year. But we also want to meet families of younger children who are interested in what we may have to offer for their child’s future.
The Open Evening is an opportunity to learn about our new Education and Training Programme which builds on all that we have learned since we first opened in Autumn 2017. It is also and opportunity meet with our Employment Support Specialist, Eva O’Donovan who offers supports to both trainees and prospective employers alike.
Come along, meet our tutors, take a tour. We can’t guarantee the weather but we do guarantee 3 things: You will learn something new, meet friendly people and you will not be bored. Again everyone is welcome BUT we ask that you register your intention to come with Debbie, our Care Manager so that we can plan for you. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org
From September 2019, a range of 3 programmes will be on offer:
The Activation Programme, offering practical activities including cookery, gardening, arts & crafts. There will be two Ability Programmes each running for 2 days a week for 2 years. The new plan sees participant capacity leap from the current 8 to a potential 22 people.
The second programme, Ability: Practical Literacy and Technology, follows a bespoke programme developed by the University of Queensland for people with Intellectual Disability. This programme enhances core-comprehension skills, improved communication, builds self-confidence and improves literacy & technology skills.
The third programme, Ability: Work skills will combine horticulture skills with workplace readiness.
The Field of Dreams education and training programmes benefit from the input of Down Syndrome Cork’s Speech and Language Therapist, Mide Kearney. Thanks to Mide’s support a Total Communication approach has been implemented, with a wide variety of visual tools and supports aiding improved comprehension and fluency.
We had great fun filming this thanks to Gerard and Eugene from Dell/EMC who sponsored the production. They were so engaging and natural with us and made us feel really special. Thank you lads and thank you DELL/EMC for your confidence in our project. We think this short video gives a great insight into the value and potential of Field of Dreams; we hope you agree.
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
*Update – we are waiting for Google maps to verify our identity- it may be a day or two before our dropped pin is visible! If you need to find the location of Field of Dreams before then the coordinates are 51°52’37.3″N 8°33’48.0″W
It feels great to drop a pin on the map of Cork marking the location of Field of Dreams.
putting the location of Field of Dreams on the map
It may not look like much yet but the Field of Dreams is shaping up to be a fun and magical place of learning and meaningful employment for adults with Down syndrome. We share the large field with neighbours, UCC who have already begun to grow vegetables for on-campus use. We are looking forward to some neighborly banter and collaboration. We are still awaiting planning permission from Cork County Council but that hasn’t dampened our enthusiasm … the Field of Dreams is most definitely on the Cork map.
Next up are plans for our participation in the Cork Summer show – also our neighbours so we won’t have far to travel.
UCC announced a new healthy food initiative in partnership with Munster Agricultural Society. UCC are ‘growing their own’ and will be bringing the produce to the University for use in their kitchens. The students are delighted with the initiative, as are the staff. Healthy food, fresh from the source, is a key element to everyone’s diet. All good news for the students, many of whom are lodging and purchase their meals from the University restaurants.
All this is great news for Field of Dreams by Down Syndrome Cork. We are alongside the UCC land and it is envisaged that there will be a partnership of workforce, expertise and fun in due course.
UCC will be planting by the end of April. Hopefully, Field of Dreams will not be too far behind.
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