Down Syndrome Cork’s ‘Field of Dreams’ project will provide meaningful work and life skills development opportunities for adults with Down syndrome. The Field of Dreams will be located on the Munster Agriculture Society grounds at Curraheen, north of the N40.
In terms of engagement with corporates and with government agencies, the impact has been “massive” with enormous gestures of goodwill and commitment from the corporate community in the Cork region, including Marks and Spencer and the ESB Energy for Generations Fund. The project has created strong links with the Department of Agriculture and Cork County Council and other Government agencies.
Simon Coveney TD, Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government has described the project as “ground-breaking”.
So far there have been 30 expressions of interests from adults in the Cork region to engage with the project. Cork Educational Training Board has provided funding for tuition hours to provide training and tuition on site. For those participants seeking employment, the organisers feel that the project will have an enormous impact. Once training is completed all participants will receive continued support, so that those who are ready and suitable for employment will be assisted in finding an appropriate position.
Their primary focus now is to get the project up and running. The secured site is currently under development, with the first group of participants hoping to start in September 2017.
The project sees each of its participants much like an individual ‘plant’ that they will nurture to grow and eventually see flourish independently. The organisers are also delighted to see the positive effect that the project is having on Down syndrome awareness in the community.
We wish the ‘Field of Dreams’ team the very best of luck over the coming months and look forward to seeing the fruits of their labours for many years to come.