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.
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.
If you would like to contribute to our dream we will bring you to our EVERYDAY HERO donation page here.
Cork, September 12 2016 – ESB Energy for Generations Fund has awarded funding of €25,000 to Down Syndrome Cork for its inspiring Field of Dreams project at a special cheque presentation in Cork city today.
John Sweetnam writes about what working outdoors in a garden setting will mean to him and other adults with Down syndrome in the Cork region when Field of Dreams is operational. John is a Board member of Down Syndrome Cork and has been a strong supporter of Field of Dreams from the first stages of it’s planning.
Diarmuid Gavin was in town this week to discuss his design ideas for the ‘Fun’ element of the Field of Dreams project to commence soon in Curraheen, Cork. Diarmuid responded some months ago to a letter from Field of Dreams’ Chairman Ray O’Callaghan asking for his input.
More information / Briefing Document
Who? Down Syndrome Cork is a strong group of committed parents with a vision for their children to live full, active, enjoyable and purposeful lives. As a respected Cork charity with a proven track record we are delighted to be bringing the Field of Dreams to fruition in the coming months. We have over 360 members across Cork of whom 170 have adult family members with Down syndrome. Diarmuid Gavin, celebrity garden designer is committed to supporting us in the design process and ongoing into the future.
What & Where? Field of Dreams is to be a ‘demonstrator’ project, the first of its kind in Ireland. The project will see a 3 acre site at Curraheen, Bishopstown transform into something we think is magical – an educational and work based horticultural site for adults with Down syndrome. The focus of this programme will be on social and therapeutic horticulture, offering proven benefits to physical and psychological health, communication and problem solving. Activities that support lifelong learning and independence such as numeracy / literacy, computer skills and cooking will be offered in a setting that is holistic, sociable and FUN.
Diarmuid Gavin popped into Centre 21 in March to meet us and begin a conversation about his part in planning our dream. He was relaxed, enjoyed the ‘Mayhem’ of Centre 21 and we even managed a first – introducing him to Hazel Sweetnam’s Mexican Tree Tomatoes.
And there’s a really fun part for children
Planning permission has been sought
for the Field of Dreams horticultural project from Cork County Council this week. All going according to plan, the sod will be turned in early May. The education, training and work progammes will be fully operational by September. Since the idea germinated in Chairperson Ray O’Callaghan’s mind about 4 years ago a lot of work has been put in by the Board of Down Syndrome Cork. This week’s planning permission submission marks the closing of one chapter and the opening of the next.
“People said I was mad”, says Ray, laughing ” but the field is about to happen and as the man in the movie says ‘People will Come, People will come'”, referring to the 1989 movie ‘Field of Dreams’. But Ray O’Callaghan’s actual inspiration came from a TV programme showing the benefits for adults with Down syndrome and their families, when introduced to work in a farm setting. Field of Dreams, Cork will build on this and provide meaningful work and life skill development opportunities for adults with Down Syndrome within a market garden setting.
There is a definite feeling of magic in the air of the 3 acre Curraheen site this week following the planning permission application. Thrown into the cauldron is
- the enthusiasm of the adults with Down syndrome it is intended for,
- the grit and determination of the Board members,
- the advance purchase enquiries from Cork businesses
- the opportunities for local, national and international businesses to come on board with sponsorship, expertise, materials and in many more ways.
- and a little sprinkling of sparkle dust, of course.
‘People will come, Ray. They will most definitely come’.
Many thanks to the Evening Echo for their article published this evening.