Creating Community Gardens with Karen

In this episode of GROW COOK EAT, Karen and the GIY team made a trip to Blackpool in Cork where Cork City Council, Blackpool Community Centre and ReImagine Cork along with Heineken Ireland's “Growing with our Communities” initiative transformed a fairly bleak space in the town centre and re-invigorated it with a blooming community garden. The initiative aims to bring communities together to create urban growing spaces that have a positive impact, socially, environmentally and economically.

Blackpool before GIY and Heineken
Blackpool Plaza Before
Blackppol Plaza after GIY and Heineken
Blackpool Plaza After


Karen and the team also visit Tir na Nog in Blackrock in Cork where another garden transformation is undertaken. Tir na Nog is run by the Simon Community, it opened in 2005 and was the fourth high-support residential house to be opened by Cork Simon. It is home to eleven people who were formerly homeless. Residents in houses like Tir na Nog have access to 24-hour care and support in a pleasant and friendly environment, and they now have a new food garden too.

Transforming derelict spaces, revamping them into community gardens and gorgeous spaces is a passion of GIY. We team with partners like HEINEKEN Ireland, and others, who provide resources like people, plants and paint and we provide the passion, the know how, the plans and the perseverance. 

Corporate Social Responsibility; Should Companies Contribute to Communities?

Corporate Social Responsibility is far more than a box ticking exercise. It means companies and organisations playing an active, positive role in their communities.  The community could be the employees, their families, their neighbours, local schools, hospitals or shelters, an unloved space outside the premises, or a myriad other places. Community gardens, school gardens, therapeutic horticulture and community workshops in food growing and sustainability can all have a huge social benefit. Find out more about GIY and CSR here. 

Check out the amazing work GIY and HEINEKEN Ireland got done in one rainy day in Cork last July and start thinking about what we could do with space in your community.