ESB awards funding of €25k to Down Syndrome Cork’s ‘Field of Dreams’ project

Cork, September 12 2016 - ESB 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.

The Field of Dreams horticultural project - a first of its kind in Ireland - is located on a three acre site on the western outskirts of Cork city. The project teaches participants to grow their own fruit and vegetables, and provide a range of training, education, and work opportunities in a safe and inspirational environment.

Planning for the site was approved earlier this year which includes a sensory garden, polytunnels, therapy room, a market garden for cultivation of farm produce, and prefabs for training and education. Award winning Irish garden designer, Diarmuid Gavin is contributing to the development of this unique garden site.

Through its Energy for Generations Fund, ESB has awarded €25,000 to Down Syndrome Cork’s Field of Dreams. Now in its 11th year, the Fund has awarded total funding of €10m to more than 400 local and national charities around Ireland since it was launched in 2005, including almost €1million to organisations located in Cork City and County.

Speaking at the cheque presentation, Jerry O’Sullivan, ESB Deputy Chief Executive, said: "We are delighted to support this wonderful initiative by Down Syndrome Cork and the great work done by the organisations’ volunteers. This innovative project provides a space that nurtures and supports people with special needs and aligns with our own goal of supporting organisations to provide educational access and support to all people. We wish all those that will participate in the project a fruitful and enjoyable experience."

Jason Bane, Field of Dreams Board Member explains, "the Down Syndrome Cork Field of Dreams project is a ground breaking initiative that aims to create a protected work and learning environment, where adults with down syndrome can learn new life skills, improve their communication abilities and be provided with meaningful work. We are very fortunate to have land provided by the Munster Agricultural Society, where the project will become a pilot project for Ireland which we hope will be replicated by other Down Syndrome branches nationwide. The support provided by ESB through the Energy for Generations Fund is significant and greatly appreciated."

Over the past 10 years, ESB has awarded approximately €10million through the ESB Energy for Generations Fund to community-based projects around Ireland. These projects are primarily in the areas of education, suicide prevention and homelessness. Full details on applying for funding including eligibility criteria for projects, can be found here: https://www.esb.ie/acting-responsibly/community-stem-and-the-arts/esb-corporate-responsibility. ESB’s Energy for Generations Fund is open to organisations within the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland.