Thumbs up for Veg Shed

LOCAL gardening enthusiasts involved in the Veg Shed held an open day at their garden on Church Lane recently.

LOCAL gardening enthusiasts involved in the Veg Shed held an open day at their garden on Church Lane recently.

The men and women meet on a regular basis and have cultivated a garden in which to grow their vegetables.

A lovely barbecue (which was sponsored by Gerry O’Brien Butchers) along with a selection of salads and sweets were enjoyed by the guests.

Entertainment on the day was provided by singer/songwriter William Kavanagh. Guests were free to wonder around the garden and any gardening queries on the day were posed to the gardening tutor, Brian Dillon who is involved in Future

The Veg Shed was set up through the Life Skills Programme, which is run through the Good Shepherd Centre.

“The day was a great success and thankfully the rain stayed away. It was a lovely opportunity to sit and relax in the garden and enjoy the peaceful serene environment.Thanks to all those involved including members from the Camphill Community. Also a huge thank you to the Agenda 21 and the Kilkenny VEC for their support,” said Life Skills Coordinator at The Good Shepherd Centre, Ann Jones.

“The life skills programme, which is currently being delivered in the centre, was developed in response to identified needs, supporting and facilitating individuals toward independent living. The programme aims to provide a needs based approach, with session being delivered on a one-to-one and group basis. Some of the modules being offered include food and cookery, preparation for work, coping skills and painting, photography and creative writing.

“In March 2010 The Life Skills Programme looked at developing a community garden at the rear of the centre itself. It was essential that the members were involved right from the start, to create a sense of ownership over the project. The group took a vote in order to name the project and the veg shed was the popular choice. The project is open to both men and women in the community who are at risk of social isolation. The Veg Shed runs on average one afternoon a week or fortnight during the growing season (Monday 2.30-4.30pm).

“In March 2011 the Men’s Shed was established. The focus was on providing a space where men could come together to engage in a range of activities of their choosing. In November the men set about creating a workshop where they could complete both personal and community projects. To date the men have completed a number of activities such as building birdboxes, herb boxes and partaking in a men’s health course and creating a garden mosaic. The Mens Shed runs every Tuesday and Wednesday from 2 to 5.30pm and also provides a handy work service (Mens Shed Helping Hands) to the community in return for a donation to the project. Members from the Mens Shed can partake in the veg shed also,” she added.

The Good Shepherd Centre has been tackling the needs of homeless men for over 20 years. The centre provides emergency accommodation for homeless men in Kilkenny city and county. A 24-hour service all year round is provided. The centre endeavours to provide safe clean accommodation where people can start to address their needs in a supportive environment. The centre is also an active member of the Kilkenny Homeless Action Team.