A brand new Kitchen Garden to the tune of €3,000 in being planted today (February 24th) at the Cork Association for Autism centre in Mogeely by GIY and Cully & Sully.
Late last year GIY and Cully & Sully teamed up to launch a fun Grow at Work campaign dubbed #GivePeasAChance challenging teams to grow food at work and offering the winners a food garden worth €3,000 to donate to a charity or community group of their choice plus €2,000 worth of vouchers for Ballymaloe House and Cookery School for the winning team.
“We are delighted to be placing nine new raised beds, new wider paths for easier access and all new planting into our new Kitchen Garden. For our service users this is invaluable, they get an opportunity to enjoy one to one sessions in horticultural therapy, this is wonderful to get them out and about in the fresh air but also it helps greatly with anxiety and it is also very rewarding for them to see their seeds transform into food they can eat and knowing that they nurtured that cycle, it builds enormous levels of independence.”
Out of 450 companies who took part in #GivePeasAChance the competitions winning team was a group of five chiropractors from Optimal Chiropractic in Cork who chose to present the Cork Association for Autism with the prize of the €3,000 GIY Food Garden.
Crobally Service Centre in Mogeely provides residential care and respite care to 30 service users and just last week an additional building was officially opened at the centre, enabling the Cork Association for Autism to support 14 day service users aged between 18-28. The service provides person centred support and skill development programs to adults on the Autism spectrum throughout Cork.
Each individual on the programme has a person centered plan in place which focuses on the interests of the service user and their objectives in life. The new Kitchen garden will offer services users one to one horticultural therapy according to horticultural co-ordinator at the centre Emma Hutchinson.
She said: “We are delighted to be placing nine new raised beds, new wider paths for easier access and all new planting into our new Kitchen Garden. For our service users this is invaluable, they get an opportunity to enjoy one to one sessions in horticultural therapy, this is wonderful to get them out and about in the fresh air but also it helps greatly with anxiety and it is also very rewarding for them to see their seeds transform into food they can eat and knowing that they nurtured that cycle, it builds enormous levels of independence.”
Commenting on what they plan to grow in the kitchen garden and how it will be consumed, Emma said: “Simply, we will plant what the service users like to eat, this is going to be a garden of real sufficiency, so we will ask them what they like to eat and grow those vegetables. As this is a large garden we have teamed up with a local restaurant in Midleton so that excess vegetables will be used by the restaurant at peak times. This adds a whole new dimension to what we do and enables our service users to build great community links.”
Commenting on the growing initiative and the new garden facilities at the centre founder of GIY Michael Kelly said: “We were delighted to team up with Cully & Sully to launch #GivePeasAChance, the campaign got over 2,000 people all across Ireland growing food at work for the first time and the result of the competition means we are here today planting a kitchen garden with the Cork Association for Autism, it has just been brilliant to play a part in all of that. I know that the kitchen garden here at the centre in Mogeely is going to be a real success, the team are so committed and the fact that it offers not only therapeutic rewards but spreads the knowledge of growing and additionally builds unique community links is a real achievement.”
Cullen Allen from Cully & Sully said: “We are delighted to be here today helping plant up the winning garden at Cork Association for Autism. They are indeed very worthy winners and we look forward to seeing the progress in the garden in the coming months and years.
“GIY for Cully & Sully were the perfect partners to team up with for our #GivePeasAChance campaign. At Cully & Sully we know how important good ingredients are and you can’t get better than Growing your Own. We really wanted to show everyone that getting growing is a simple step to take and to we wanted people see how easy it can be so we thought that growing at work was by far the best test.
“The 2015 #GivePeasAChance campaign brought together teams from a huge cross section of Irish workers from teachers to train-drivers and lots more besides. The dedication from all the teams hugely impressed us and brought many smiles to our faces. Our aim, with the help of our Friends at GIY, is to make our GivePeasAChance movement even bigger for 2016 so please go to www.cullyandsully.com/ourgarden and register now to take part in our 2016 campaign ”
If you want to help your company to GIY@Work, take a peak at www.giyinternational.org/giyatwork.