North Kildare community garden in running for top national prize

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North Kildare community garden in running for top national prize
14:24 Sunday 17th of February 2019

Three finalists have been selected for the top prize for the 2019 GIY and Energia Get Ireland Growing Fund; one of these groups will receive a generous €5,000 grant for their project.

The finalists selected include the Zero Waste Community Garden in Rathcoffey, Breffni Men's Gardening and Social club in Co Leitrim and The Growery in Birr GIY Group in Offaly.

All three finalists will join the RTE Today Show for a live appearance on Tuesday to share details of their project and these community projects will then be up for a public vote, the voting will run from the 19th until the 28th of February with members of the public being able to cast their vote on www.giy.ie The winner will be announced at the awards night on the 19th of March at the home of GIY in Waterford City, GROW HQ.

The Breffni Men’s Gardening & Social Club in Leitrim is a community group for men of all ages and from all ethnic, social, cultural & economic backgrounds and is part of the Breffni Family Resource Centre.

The group enjoys a varied, accessible programme and learn about gardening in a friendly environment for them to socialise and grow their own friendships.

The Breffni Men's Gardening & Social Club helps to maintain their garden facilities which comprise of the centre’s community allotment, poly-tunnel and Hope Orchard and promotes inclusivity amongst men of all ages and from all ethnic, social, cultural and economic backgrounds.

The Growery in Birr in County Offaly is a social third space in the context of food health sustainability regeneration and well-being.

They run a variety of partnership-projects with local, national, and non-national organisations while affording the community of Birr a social amenity that promotes education, relaxation, well-being, and climate resilience.

The whole community benefits from this project; including a local schools permaculture garden, welcoming members of the Community Mental Health Centre weekly, work placements and site-specific project consultation, school groups visit and they recently established another garden in the adjacent village and raised funds for the Tidy Towns polytunnel to grow flowers.

The Zero Waste Community Garden in Kildare is dedicated to growing fruit and vegetables in a sustainable and organic way for gardeners and community residents. They currently have 13 gardeners with vegetable plots, a heritage orchard and 18 other fruit trees.  They grow all year round with the aid of their polytunnel.

Their project has a massive positive impact in their community by helping to reduce their carbon footprint, reduce family’s expenditure on food and encourage a healthier lifestyle. They have created a space for people of all ages, nationalities and abilities to mix and grow healthy food enabling their community to work closer together.

In total through this year’s Energia Get Ireland Growing Fund a pool of €75,000 will be awarded to community groups and voluntary organisations in order to start or further develop a community food-growing project in their area. Nominations and applications for grants have been flooding in since the fund was announced in December 2018.

Grants from the Energia Get Ireland Growing Fund are split across three categories ‘Sow', ‘Grow' and ‘Harvest' with awards ranging from €500 to €2,000 plus one very special group will receive a generous €5,000 grant for their project.

The fund will support at least 86 community food growing groups from all across the island of Ireland. This is the sixth year of the fund, which has already supported over 500-community food growing projects to date, positively impacting over 140,000 people.

The successful applicants will be celebrated at a gala event, which will be held at the home of GIY, GROW HQ in Waterford on March 19th.

For further details and to vote for one of the shortlisted finalists see www.giy.ie.

With offices in Dublin, Galway, Cork and Belfast, Energia supplies the energy needs of 50,000 business customers and over 150,000 homes with great offers for electricity and gas customers nationwide.

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