BANDON Community Group has been announced as one of the six GIY and Energica Get Ireland Growing Champions nationwide.
The Cork community group and hundreds of other groups throughout the country answered a call that went out earlier this year to budding gardeners across the country by Energia and GIY.
The organisers wanted to ‘Get Ireland Growing’ by supplying the knowledge and food growing tools and seeds for individuals and groups to get growing.
The founder of GIY Michael Kelly says the uptake was enormous, “We are thrilled with the huge levels of interest from all corners of Ireland in growing food. Within 24 hours of announcing Get Ireland Growing 2021, we had twice as many people register as last year. It is heartening to see this interest continue to grow,” he said.
As the seed and information packs on Get Ireland Growing 2021 were distributed across the country these new food growers in Ireland took up the challenges of the competition. This ultimately led to six winners being identified as the national Get Ireland Growing Champions in 2021.
The winners selected include Bandon Community Group who are looking at how they can be as sustainable as possible going forward when looking after their garden. Their overall aim is to donate produce to their local food bank, Feed Cork.
Speaking about the initiative and today’s winners Marketing Manager at Energia, Amy O’Shaughnessy said:
Other winners included Patricia Moore, a homemaker at Virginia Community Health Centre in Cavan who has got all of the residents involved in growing their own food.
Two winners in Offaly were announced, firstly Pam Bell who is caring for her chronically ill husband Charles. Pam not only tends to her own garden but is the backbone of her community gardening group in Moneygall.
The second Offaly-based winner is Radwan Abouhajar who has worked tirelessly to promote growing your own vegetables and has worked with many agencies across Offaly and Laois.
Two winners were selected in County Sligo, the Spraoi Glas community garden group in West Sligo and Sligo Children’s Community Garden. They were established especially for kids and their families to learn the joy of gardening and be involved in the community of gardening.
Each of the new champions has been awarded funding from Energia to enable them to further develop each of their food-growing projects.