Grants plant roots for local GIY projects

Five Galway projects were among 85 from across the country to share a slice of a €70,000 fund to help them develop their own Grow It Yourself community projects.

Among them is a food growing project for Galway Simon’s new Residential Service ‘Tuí Bhrian’ in Galway city which currently caters for youths aged 18 to 25 years of age.

Funding also goes to the Coláiste Mhuirlinne / Merlin College Community Garden; the Maree N.S. Garden; the St. Joseph’s Special School Green School Committee, and a project on the city’s Dyke Road.

It is all part of the Get Ireland Growing Fund run by GIY (Grow It Yourself) in partnership with Energia.

Grants will be awarded to the successful food growing projects planned by community groups, schools and not-for-profit organisations all across the country.

The teams behind 85 community projects are all being granted with funds for their unique plans. Groups will be presented with their funding amounts ranging from €500 to €2,000.

The Simon Community’s Tuí Bhrian project came in response to the growing number of youths approaching the organisation for help.

That led to the opening of the Tuí Bhrian residential service in 2016, which currently caters for eight youths aged between 18 and 25.

“The apartments are in one cluster with private entrance and an external courtyard at the back of the building,” explained a Simon spokesperson.

“This area was identified by the young people themselves as having great potential for starting a gardening project.

“In an age of convenience foods, the project will facilitate a greater understanding of the joy of self-sufficient initiatives and will enable the group to deepen their understanding of nutrition and will contribute to improved mental and physical wellbeing.

“Produce grown will be tied into a cooking skills course to allow the group to cultivate a more pragmatic engagement and connection with growing and nurturing their own food,” they added.

The St. Joseph’s Special School Green School Committee aims to get the pupils themselves growing their own vegetables and harvesting their own fruit to use during their cookery classes.

“We have a courtyard with raised beds and a two year old fruit orchard,” explained one of the team.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.