Three social farming projects in counties Leitrim, Kerry and Cork are to get €367,000 in funding from the 2017 Rural Innovation and Development Fund.
Minister Creed said the funding announced on Monday is in addition to €350,000 already allocated to Ireland’s Social Farming Network, bringing total support for social farming initiatives to €717,000 this year.
“I know that working on farming and horticulture projects has helped many participants to improve their wellbeing and grow their confidence.
“For participating farm families, social farming has proved a very worthwhile and satisfying activity which contributes to the local community,” said Minister Creed.
Funding of €121,000 has been granted to the Leitrim Integrated Development Company for the continuation of a national Social Farming Model of Best Practice Project in collaboration with UCD.
Another €123,000 has been awarded to South Kerry Development Partnership for a social farming project which will offer services for people with disabilities to engage with farm families and the community.
The third successful award is for Down Syndrome Ireland (Cork Branch) which was awarded funding of €123,000. This will help with the next phase of ‘Field of Dreams’, a horticultural centre for adults with Down Syndrome.
The facility is expected to provide hands-on work experience, training and promotion of social inclusion to adults with Down Syndrome.