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18 Aug 2022

Get Ireland Growing 2022 announces Waterford Community Hero

Get Ireland Growing 2022 announces Waterford Community Hero

Communities across Ireland were encouraged to come together to become more sustainable and connected through growing food together

Six Champions from across the country have been announced as the winners of the Energia Get Ireland Growing initiative with GIY for 2022.

In April 2022, the Energia Get Ireland Growing initiative announced the giveaway of GIY community GROWBoxes across Ireland worth €42,500. Over 800 communities took part with groups ranging from community gardens to groups of friends, badminton clubs to Women’s Sheds and more. 

Using these kits, communities across Ireland were encouraged to come together to become more sustainable and connected through growing food together.

As the seed and information packs were distributed across the country, new food growers took up the challenges of the competition. Members of the public also had the opportunity to nominate someone for going above and beyond to support others to grow with the chance to be named their province’s ‘Energia Get Ireland Growing Community Hero’. 

This week, six winners have been identified as the national ‘Energia Get Ireland Growing Champions’ of 2022. Each of the winners have been awarded prizes and funding from Energia to enable them to continue and further develop each of their food-growing projects.

The 2022 prize categories and prizes included a ‘Community Hero’ winner, who have been awarded a GIY food growing starter kit.

In addition, a €500 GIY voucher has been awarded to the community that hosted the most impressive gathering on July 2nd, and the ‘Best Transformation’ has been awarded to the community that has transformed a space since the beginning of the campaign, with a €1,000 cash prize. 

The Munster Community Hero is Justyna Traore from The Butler Community Centre Hive Garden, in Waterford.

Her role in the Hive Garden involves planning the group’s weekly work and co-coordinating the garden's development within the space. Justyna has been responsible for providing the course on how to set up a community garden in an urban setting.

The garden was inspired by Justyna’s experiences with creating another successful garden project, the 'Top of the City' Garden and the ‘Hive Garden’ design was adjusted to the needs of its local community. From the very beginning, Justyna’s main interest was to make it possible for others to grow their vegetables and socialise in a healthy and functional environment. 

Presenting the 2022 awards Founder of GIY Michael Kelly says:

“The pandemic has truly shifted the mindset of the nation when it comes to learning to grow food and we are seeing more and more people who began growing at home during lockdowns bring that knowledge out into their community and begin growing and at GIY, we are delighted to support their efforts.” 

“We are delighted to see such huge levels of interest in joining in the ‘Energia Get Ireland Growing’ initiative from communities across the country.  

“We would like to congratulate each of the Community Heros and the community project winners on their growing success, each of the new champions has been awarded support and funding from Energia to enable them to further develop each of their food growing projects and we cant wait to see how these evolve.”

Energia Get Ireland Growing was first launched by Energia in partnership with GIY in 2016 to promote community food growing projects nationwide.  

For further details please see www.getirelandgrowing.ie

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