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Ireland: The fund that’s making a big difference for young people at a Dublin city farm

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Champion jockey, Rachael Blackmore was at St. Anne’s City Farm and Ecology Centre for the launch of the 2021 Coca-Cola Thank You Fund. Photograph: Naoise Culhane

The Coca-Cola Thank You Fund awarded €5,000 to St. Anne’s City Farm and Ecology Centre in 2020, and now youth groups impacted by the pandemic can apply for the 2021 Fund

Irish Times
June 4, 2021


Slaine’s mother Marion was the driving force behind St. Anne’s City Farm and Ecology Centre’s creation. As a committed environmental activist, she worried that young people growing up in the city centre increasingly have no first-hand experience of where food comes from.

“For some children chicken no longer even means a bird, it’s the nuggets they have for their tea,” says Slaine.

Marion travelled across Europe, at her own expense, to gather examples of best practice in city farming and persuaded Dublin City Council to provide space, which it did in a corner of St. Anne’s Park in Raheny. A team of volunteers, including Slaine, transformed it into Dublin’s first city farm, which opened in 2019.

Young people have flocked to it ever since. “From the very beginning the kids in the area started coming in and helping out. They practically run it on their own now,” laughs Slaine.

Weekends are an especially busy time at what has become, for many young people, an important social hub.

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