28 July 2017
By Tom Collins
Community initiative to create urban growing spaces through – “Growing with Our Communities”
Heineken Ireland has today announced an initiative to bring communities together to create urban growing spaces that have a positive impact – socially, environmentally and economically. Entitled “Growing with Our Communities”, the initiative is “rooted” internally with HEINEKEN Ireland employees and in collaboration with GIY (Grow it Yourself), through a bespoke GIY@Work programme called #StarGrowers.
Having recruited their #StarGrowers as part of National Workplace Wellbeing Day HEINEKEN Ireland intend to “Grow it Forward”, its take on Pay it Forward. Ten Community Groups around the country will be given access to their own GIY@Work programme and some “seed” funding. Today, over 50 HEINEKEN Ireland volunteers were helping out across three of these communities with additional projects to be announced over the coming months.
In addition, three community groups will be selected as “Star Gardens”. Each one will receive garden design, planting and growing expertise, a financial contribution towards materials and people power through HEINEKEN Ireland employee volunteering. The first “Star Garden” has been announced as The Blackpool Plaza with support from Blackpool Community Centre, Reimagine Cork and Cork City Council.
Announcing the initiative, Sandy Boundy, Communications & CSR Manager of HEINEKEN Ireland, said:“This builds on HEINEKEN’s strong sustainability credentials outlined in our “Brewing a Better World” sustainability strategy. To make great products, you need great ingredients and that’s why our environment is so important. Our long-term strategy is designed to create shared value for our business, our customers and our stakeholders and a key focus of this strategy is growing with our communities.
Volunteering in HEINEKEN Ireland is part of who we are and our GIY@Work partnership provides a great platform for our employees to get involved. We are very excited about the collaboration and are looking forward to “Grow it Forward” into our local community”.
Karen O’ Donohoe, Head of Community Development, GIY added “Our GIY@Work programme brings food growing into the workplace in a fun but meaningful way. It is a key element of employee wellbeing and CSR activities. We are delighted to be part of this project to inspire and support HEINEKEN Ireland staff to grow some of their own food and connect with local community food growing groups. HEINEKEN Ireland’s “Growing with Our Communities” is a fantastic example of the positive impact food growing has on people whether it’s through ‘al desko’ growing or urban greening.”
28th July – Grow it Forward Plan
3 projects: 50 volunteers: 5 community groups
- Star Garden – Blackpool Community Centre – refresh and revitalise the Blackpool Plaza (communal space) through colour and edibles. Repainting walls, 6 benches, 18 planter boxes. Supported by Reimagine Cork (Volunteer organisation focused on rejuvenating Cork’s laneways, urban green spaces and derelict buildings) and Cork City Council.
- Grow it Forward – Leitrim Street Planters – Work with Mad About Cork (Volunteers in Cork City. Making positive changes in urban spaces through street art, guerrilla gardening) to build, paint and plant planter boxes to grow edibles and at the same time brighten up a key area at the entrance to Cork city
- Grow it Forward – Cork Simon Tir na nOg High Support House Garden – working with local volunteers and residents to rejuvenate their therapeutic garden – reclaiming their raised beds, cleaning and reinstating their poly tunnel and creating a herb garden.