Kind-hearted electricians have wired a pioneering farm project for adults with Down Syndrome for the future.
About 20 Cork-based ESB Networks staff joined with another 20 colleagues from Jones Engineering/O’Shea’s Electrical and put their electrical skills and expertise to use to make a real and lasting difference in the community.
The skilled apprenticies, electricians and engineers helped wire portable buildings and install public lighting in Down Syndrome Cork’s Field of Dreams project at Curraheen. Several suppliers of electrical equipment in Cork also provided generous support.
The ambitious Field of Dreams project is the first of its kind in Ireland and will see three acres of agricultural land transformed into an educational and work-based horticultural site.
The land has been provided by the Munster Agriculture Society who have partnered with Down Syndrome Cork for the initiative.
About 95% of adults with Down Syndrome are unemployed, and this project, on the Clash Road near Ballincollig, will teach participants to grow their own fruit and vegetables.
It will also provide a range of training, education, and work opportunities for adults with Down Syndrome in a safe and inspirational environment.
Garden designer Diarmuid Gavin is contributing to the development of this unique garden site.
ESB Networks south divisional manager Denis Cambridge said: “We’re all delighted to support the project. ESB has provided funding of €25,000 through our Energy for Generations Fund and the teamwork shows that funding is often just part of the jigsaw.
“It has been an enriching experience for all involved to use our skills and knowledge to bring more positive outcomes for the community to which we belong.”
DSC chairman Ray O’Callaghan, whose daughter, Grace, has Down Syndrome, said the garden/farm project was part-inspired by the 1989 fantasy film Field of Dreams
starring Kevin Costner, in which characters emerge from the corn wheat to play baseball.
“We want to create something magical too, to encourage our kids to emerge from the shadows. We want society to recognise that they should have the same opportunities as everyone,” he said.
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