HEINEKEN Ireland have long held the view that things are better when people connect and as our product is a direct bi-product of nature it made sense for us to combine and build on these two great passions. So in 2017 HEINEKEN Ireland formed a collaboration with GIY 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 has helped communities throughout Ireland connect with each other and also the land and nature around them.
The initiative began internally where #StarGrowers were identified as part of National Workplace Wellbeing Day. Then the real work started when ten Community Groups around the country were given access to their own GIY@Work programme and “seed” funding. Plus the hands on support of 50 HEINEKEN Ireland volunteers helped out across three of these communities that were selected as “Star Gardens” – Blackpool Plaza in Cork, St Michael’s Community Centre Inchicore and New Street Garden Waterford.
In 2018 the project grew too—involving Walk in Dublin and Field of Dreams in Cork, not only with the financial and human manpower to create functional growing spaces but also in an innovative Skills Sharing workshop where expertise from across the business was brought together to share knowledge and experience in an impactful way.
In total the Growing with our Communities pillar at Heineken Ireland has helped over 50 local community and charity groups and contributed €480,000, in 2018 alone.
We are looking forward to building on the programme in 2019 with a focus on Bio-Diversity and revisiting those projects we have helped to develop.
“We would like to sincerely thank HEINEKEN Ireland and GIY for kindly giving us a generous donation as well as their precious time to help transform and convert a wasted space into a new wonderful outdoor training area and sensory garden.
This new outdoor training area will provide a platform for adults with intellectual disabilities to grow and develop their skill set further, in a safe non-judgemental environment. The team spirit delivered by Heineken & GIY has been contagious. We look forward to watching our garden grow and flourish.” WALK