The winners have been announced in the ‘Energia Get Ireland Growing’ community growing fund created by GIY (Grow It Yourself) in partnership with Energia.
A fund of €75,000 has been awarded to 86 community food growing projects across the island of Ireland, including two in Offaly. The teams behind 86 community projects will each receive funds in order to develop their unique projects and ideas further for the benefit of their local community.
The recipients include community groups, schools, NGOs and Not for Profits, community gardens and allotment groups, GIY groups, hospitals, crèches, direct provision centres and men's sheds all across the country. Each group will be awarded funding ranging from €500 to €2,000 with one group receiving €5,000.
Among the Harvest Awardees, who receive €2,000 each were The Growery in Birr.
In Offaly a GIY and Energia Get Ireland Growing funding award of €1,000 goes to Firceall Grow Group.
“This grant would be used to help get our grow group off the ground. Our group is made up of students in an ASD class and their SNAs and teachers. It is anticipated that we will start in the Spring and that in the next school year, the group would complete the 'Grow It, Cook It, Eat It' short course for their Junior Cycle.
"This project will impact on our students, as it will provide a much-needed break from the classroom, is educational as well as sensory boosting. It will allow the students to make their own crops, which they can then use in our kitchen to create lunches etc. from. It will show them that they can in fact GIY!”
Commenting at the awards ceremony, GIY’s Head of Community Development and Campaign Ambassador Karen O’Donohoe said, “We are delighted to help each of these community groups to develop their projects and their ideas through Energia Get Ireland Growing. Reading through each of the applications was so heartening, first of all, there were so many of merit and in addition, every single one of these projects has an inclusive approach at its core and they are all committed to encouraging more people to grow their own food within their community for a wide range of social and environmental benefits. We’re thrilled that this year a project in each of the 32 counties has been selected for funding.”
Amy O’Shaughnessy, Marketing Acquisition and Sponsorship Manager from Energia, “We had a phenomenal response to the campaign this year with entries from every county in Ireland. The passion and dedication of people across the country who are powering positive change in their communities is inspiring. At Energia we are committed to promoting sustainable living and helping families and communities to reduce their carbon footprint, so we're delighted to support this initiative with GIY.”
In addition to the funding provided, GIY will also provide additional support and opportunities for knowledge exchange between the projects, helping the best ideas to be shared through ‘Energia Get Ireland Growing’. All of the projects remain part of the GIY network in the long term, giving them access to other GIY resources and additional groups and projects within the network, creating a long-term legacy.
This is the seventh year of the fund, which has already supported over 580 community food growing projects to date, positively impacting over 165,000 people. €485,000 has been awarded over the last seven years and this was distributed to projects all across the country.
For further details on the ‘Energia Get Ireland Growing' 2019 see GIY.ie .