On Tuesday 25th September last, Tony Browne,Waterford hurler, officially opened the impressive Respond Community Allotments and Polytunnel initiative in Airmount,Waterford. There are twenty eight allotments, a polytunnel, rock pool and a serenity garden in the Airmount community complex.
This particular innovative initiative caters for green fingered residents living in various Respond estates around the city centre. In each estate throughout the country, Respond run a number of activation and socialisation programmes which empower and enable residents to live in their own homes for as long as possible. The allotments and polytunnel in Airmount are specially designed to cater for older people and people with specific needs and requirements.
According to Eleanor Gaffney, Older Person’s Support Worker, Respond;
“This particular initiative has been a great success to date and has attracted a lot of people who were traditionally slow in attending other community programmes. There are enormous therapeutic benefits attributed to gardening and allotment programmes. It is a great social and recreational outlet for the residents to meet and share gardening tips and to build a greater spirit within the community”.
Respond is keen to acknowledge the hard work, vision and sheer commitment of our residents in developing the community allotments to what they are today. It is also important to note the ongoing goodwill, support and guidance that we have received both from Waterford City VEC and Grow it Yourself Ireland since the initiative began over a year ago.
According to Philip O’ Reilly, Co-ordinator of Services to Older People, Respond;
“The support and goodwill shown by agencies such as Waterford City VEC and Grow it Yourself Ireland towards the initiative has been phenomenal. It would have been very difficult to have got the initiative off the ground without the specialist advice we received at an early stage”.
Video filmed at the official opening: here