Cope launches its community garden at the Towards Independence Project

As part of Social Inclusion Week for Galway City, COPE Galway Resettlement and Tenancy Service will launch its Community Garden at the Towards Independence Project on the Dyke Road at 12 o’clock on Tuesday next October 15.

The official launch will be supported by residents, volunteers and staff; finishing with a work shop on ‘Gardening: during the winter months’, facilitated by one of our volunteers.

COPE Galway is a local voluntary organisation which provides support services for older people; people who are homeless in Galway City and women and children affected by domestic violence. COPE Galway’s vision is improved quality of life in a home of your own for people affected by homelessness; and its ambition is to see everybody living in a home that meets their needs.

The Towards Independence Project was first established in September 2007 and today operates from a six bedroom property belonging to Galway City Council. The objective of the project is to facilitate men who were homeless to move on from emergency accommodation in the COPE Galway Fairgreen Hostel in a timely manner by providing a transitional accommodation option for those men who are not ready to move immediately to independent living.

The housing worker role is focused on devising individual care plans with the residents which are focused on moving to independent living in the community. Residents can stay in the house for up to four months and during that time are required to meet with the housing worker on a regular basis and to take part in a number of programmes that are run on the premises.

‘The community garden is one example of an initiative that residents take part in and ownership of’ said Claire Kelly Project Manager. ‘On a daily basis we see the benefits that the garden has for our residents during their stay at the project, including reduced isolation, peer support and a meaningful use of time. It has also had a positive impact on the volunteers who support the project and the wider community in many ways including reducing the stigma associated with homelessness and homeless people’.

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