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HEINEKEN Ireland and GIY help Field of Dreams in Cork

Date:17th April 2019
To Grow it Themselves by backing budding social enterprise

HEINEKEN Ireland and GIY (Grow it Yourself) are teaming up again as part of HEINEKEN’s ‘Growing with our Communities’ sustainability  initiative to support two star causes; the Down Syndrome Cork ‘Field of Dreams’ project in Curaheen and WALK in Dublin, a not for profit that empowers people with disabilities to live self-determined lives. 

Field of Dreams is a project that has been pioneered by Down Syndrome Cork, whereby three acres of land at Curaheen has been transformed from a green field site into a horticulture centre where adults with Down syndrome can work and learn valuable life-long skills. 

HEINEKEN Ireland and GIY are proud to support Field of Dreams in 2019 and will combine their skills and expertise to support Field of Dreams sow the seeds for a budding social enterprise whereby Field of Dreams will grow ornamental and edible plants for sale to the public.   

The partnership will involve: 

A mentorship programme throughout the year which will allow for a cross pollination of skills and ideas between HEINEKEN Ireland, GIY, Field of Dreams and Down Syndrome Cork.GIY’s Head Grower, Richard Mee, will share his commercial growing expertise with Field of Dreams’ Horticulturist Nicky Green on how to maximise the space and resources available for both impact and income.A Field of Dreams horticulturalist will be enrolled onto GIY’s certified Social and Therapeutic Horticultural training course which will help the team further empower adults with Down Syndrome through the therapeutic benefits of horticulture.On Friday, 12th April a team of more than 50 HEINEKEN Ireland Cork based employees will spend their annual community volunteering day building the physical infrastructure required for the social enterprise at Field of Dreams.  HEINEKEN Ireland Managing Director, Maarten Schuurman , said:

“Growing with our Communities is a huge focus for HEINEKEN Ireland and we are now in the third year of our partnership with GIY to bring this staff led programme to life in communities throughout Ireland.  Here in Cork, the heart and home of HEINEKEN Ireland’s business and brewery, we are very proud to support Field of Dreams’  development as a social enterprise and the creation of a viable funding stream that actively involves the adults and families that use this great space."

The work done today by 50 HEINEKEN employee volunteers as well as the ongoing mentorship programme from us and GIY will allow for cross pollination of ideas, insights and expertise to help make Field of Dreams’ plans  a reality.”


Sharon Mulcahy, Project Development Manager at Field of Dreams, said:


“As a relatively new project with very big ideas and small resources, Down Syndrome Cork, Field of Dreams consider ourselves extremely lucky have the support partnership with HEINEKEN Ireland and GIY. Since our first meeting back in May 2018, they have been generous on so many levels - sharing their expertise, their experiences, their connections and their skills. And today, they delivered on their promise of providing manpower (in bucketloads) to help us get 450 feet of the  perimeter banks cleared and planted.  With 50 HEINEKEN volunteers in tow, The Growing with our Communities CSR day struck a great balance between careful planning, hard work, copious cups of tea and that omnipresent FOD ingredient - plenty of fun and laughter.  We are deeply indebted to HEINEKEN and GIY for helping us add this  social enterprise element to the ground-breaking initiative that is the FOD- in doing so, they are in no small way, helping our adults with Down syndrome grow and shape their own futures”


Karen O’ Donohoe, Head of Community Development, GIY added


“GIY’s GROW At Work programme resonates with companies that want to engage with their employees on issues of wellbeing and sustainability. HEINEKEN Ireland’s “Growing with Our Communities” is a fantastic example of how such a programme can work and develop year on year.  This year provides a brilliant learning opportunity for all partners involved because each of us has a skill set, experience or approach to contribute that will benefit the others be it volunteer development, commercial growing, enterprise development – or even how to manage meetings more efficiently! On top of that, the energy and enthusiasm the volunteers bring to the projects is fantastic and we are delighted to work alongside them.”