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M&S and Down Syndrome Ireland announce new initiative

Written by Robert McHugh, on 18th Aug 2016. Posted in General

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Marks & Spencer have today announced their initial three year sponsorship of ‘Field of Dreams’, a ground-breaking new project which has been launched to support adults with Down Syndrome in Cork.  

The first of its kind in Ireland, the project is designed to provide education, training and rewarding work opportunities for adults with Down Syndrome in a safe, secure and inspirational environment.

Marks & Spencer has previously worked with Down Syndrome Ireland, fundraising for the charity as part of its annual Back to School activity.

‘Field of Dreams’ will be located on a three acre site in Curraheen, Cork.  With planning permission now granted, the care farm will comprise of sensory gardens, a market garden for the cultivation of fruit, vegetable and farm produce, as well as prefabs where education initiatives can be rolled out for young adults with special needs.  

Award winning Irish garden designer, Diarmuid Gavin is currently working on designs for the garden with work due to begin later this month, June 2016.

M&S Cork Store Manager and Chairman of DS Cork, Ray O’Callaghan said, "We placed weight on the opinion of the young adults living with Down syndrome and we came up with the ‘Care Farm’ concept, one which has proven its merit internationally. The ‘Field of Dreams’ seed germinated and we are now building a horticulture education and work project. The participants will be people who want to make a positive contribution to our community.”

M&S Head of Ireland, Alison Grainger added, "Ray is passionate about everything he undertakes on behalf of the charity and has been the main driver in bringing the Field of Dreams project to life.  He has also been a real inspiration to his team in the Cork store, with many of them planning to volunteer with the project, and we are really pleased to support a charity our colleagues are so excited to be involved with."

Source: www.businessworld.ie

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