Founder of GIY Michael Kelly with wellness coach, Alison Canavan are encouraging groups to take advantage of the Energia 'Get Ireland Growing' initiative, with the deadline of January 20th approaching. (Pic: Patrick Browne)

Wellness coach Alison Canavan is calling on people across to the country to get growing their own food in 2017. Alison has teamed up with GIY and Energia for the ‘Energia Get Ireland Growing’ initiative which offers community and voluntary organisations the opportunity to apply to the €70,000 pool of funding, which will enable groups to start or further develop a community food-growing project in their area.

Grants will be split across three categories, namely ‘Sow’, ‘Grow’ and ‘Harvest’, with awards ranging from €500 to €2,000. Applications are being accepted until January 20th and it is expected that at least 85 community food growing groups from all across the country will receive support.

Alison says she is delighted to be involved with Get Ireland Growing, “I am deeply passionate about food. I’ve gone through a journey to change my own lifestyle and my health; I want to know where the food that I consume comes from and I want my son James to also grow up interested in knowing this; arming him with this knowledge is giving him a life skill. It is so important that children understand that food doesn’t come from a supermarket shelf but that food grows in the ground and that they can in fact grow it for themselves.

I think this initiative is brilliant; it will very much help to share the knowledge of food, food growing and improve our nation’s food empathy rebuilding our connection with the food that we consume daily. I have learned that you really can grow food anywhere, even with limited space.”


In addition to the funding awarded to groups in Spring 2017, GIY will also provide additional supports and opportunities for knowledge exchange between the projects, helping the best ideas to be shared through ‘Energia Get Ireland Growing’. All of the projects remain part of the GIY network in the long term, giving them access to other GIY resources and additional groups and projects within the network, creating a long-term legacy.

The funding pool is now open to any community group, school, NGO or Not for Profit, community garden or allotment group, GIY group, hospital, crèche, direct provision centre, men’s shed or any group who grows their own food, or wants to grow food and wants to promote growing food. The deadline for applications is January 20th, 2017 and applications can be made online via