Cork's Field of Dreams comes to the English Market

Cork's Field of Dreams comes to the English Market
Khadija Bouncir, one of the students from Down Syndrome Cork Field of Dreams, setting the table in the Farmgate Café during her work experience in the English Market, Cork, where she wa pictured with Ruth Feely, general manager, (left) and Evelyn Cotter, staff member. Picture Denis Minihane.

Students from the Field of Dreams have been “a perfect fit” with the English Market where they’re doing work experience in the lead up to Christmas.

Each student is being paired up with a stallholder, so they can learn from them, while each stallholder has a collection bucket to raise money for the charity.

The Field of Dreams runs courses for students who have finished school, with the aim of getting them paid employment.

Therese Dwan and Michael Barry, two of the students from Down Syndrome Cork Field of Dreams, pictured near the fountain during their work experience in the English Market. Picture Denis Minihane.
Therese Dwan and Michael Barry, two of the students from Down Syndrome Cork Field of Dreams, pictured near the fountain during their work experience in the English Market. Picture Denis Minihane.

Aoife Lovett worked alongside Fishmonger Pat O’Connell, and he said she was a joy to have around. “Everybody’s face lights up when they meet her. They love her,” he said.

“We had a guy here from America a while ago and we introduced Aoife to him, and she told him she loved his beard and he went away with a big grin on his face happy. We’re thrilled to have them on board and give the charity a bit of publicity and raise funds,” Pat added.

Michael Barry was tasked to work with sushi, while Therese Dwan said she was “working with Tom Durcan’s making burgers. I loved it.” 

Asked whether she wanted to make it a career she laughed: “Maybe. I want to be an actress.” 

Khadija Bouncir was placed with the Farmgate cafe, and she explained some of the jobs she was tasked with. “I was cleaning the knives and forks. I’m enjoying myself,” she said.

Jodie Ann Mulligan, one of the students from Down Syndrome Cork Field of Dreams, with a box of the Alternative Bread Company's mince pies as she was pictured with Sheila Fitzpatrick of the Alternative Bread Company during work experience in the English Market. Picture Denis Minihane.
Jodie Ann Mulligan, one of the students from Down Syndrome Cork Field of Dreams, with a box of the Alternative Bread Company's mince pies as she was pictured with Sheila Fitzpatrick of the Alternative Bread Company during work experience in the English Market. Picture Denis Minihane.

James Hanley, who was working with Harriet Kelleher and her mum in The Roughtie, had plenty of work to do. “He’s sticking stickers on various products to say that they’re from the English Market. He’s moving boxes, stocking stock, he’s being a great help,” Harriet said.

“We’re third generation traders. It was my grandad’s originally and my mam took it over when he became ill, and now I’m here. I’m in college at the moment doing Home Economics teaching in my final year. As a teacher myself it’s great to see this kind of thing going on,” she added.

Órla Lannin, manager of the English Market, said the students from the Field of Dreams were fantastic: “It’s like a duck to water. The traders that they’re working alongside have been brilliant with them, but they’re enjoying themselves which is much more important. They’re all smiles, their heads are down, they’re happy out working away. They’re brilliant students.

James Hanley, one of the students from Down Syndrome Cork Field of Dreams, with Margo Ann Murphy, owner, at The Roughty Foodie stall during his work experience in the English Market. Picture Denis Minihane.
James Hanley, one of the students from Down Syndrome Cork Field of Dreams, with Margo Ann Murphy, owner, at The Roughty Foodie stall during his work experience in the English Market. Picture Denis Minihane.

“My goal is down the line that I will have a unit selling their produce, and we will continue to work together,” she added.

The students will return to the English Market on Thursday morning, while some will also be there on Friday evening for late-night opening, where there’ll also be plenty entertainment for shoppers.

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