The GIY (Grow it Yourself) Awards 2011


GIY rewards its volunteers and work in local schools at GIY Gathering 2011

GIY rewards its volunteers and work in local schools at GIY Gathering 2011

At this year’s GIY Gathering, the organisation rewarded the efforts of its hardest working volunteer and a GIY group from the capital for its outreach work in local schools.

Last year’s GIYer of the Year was 83-year old Joe Hurley from Waterford, who proved that a small urban garden can produce an enormous amount of home-grown grub. Joe received his award at last year’s Gathering from GIYer Numero Uno President Mary McAleese. This year GIY saluted the volunteer spirit that is so important to the organisation, by giving the GIYer of the Year gong to one of its hardest working volunteers, Amanda Braddock from Offaly. Amanda runs GIY’s group in Edenderry and for two years in a row has done massive work at the GIY Zone in Bloom in the Phoenix Park, coming up and down on the busfrom Edenderry each day. Try doing that 5 days in a row after spending the day showing people how to sow seeds!

Home grown food leads to positive changes for the individual: better physical and mental health, a sense of empowerment and well being, increased self-sufficiency and so on. But when a GIY group reaches out and gets involved in projects in a local area, the whole community, and by extension, the whole of Irish society, benefits.

GIY Rathgar/Terenure is the Group of the Year in Leinster and this year’s overall GIY Group of the Year. Judges were impressed with the group’s work in local schools – introducing the next generation of GIYers to the joy of home-grown food in Rathgar Junior School and Loreto Rathfarnham and also long term projects with a local special needs school to put in a sensory garden filled with herbs and edibles.

Other regional winners in theawards programme included GIY Monaghan (in Ulster), GIY Clonmel (in Munster)and GIY Ballina (in Connaught).

This year’s GIY (Grow it Yourself) Gathering brought together 400 GIYers from around Ireland to attend 40 events, talks, workshops, debates, panel discussions and forages over two days in Waterford City. The event was proudly supported by Woodies DIY and the Waterford Harvest Festival. Awards were presented at the GIY Gathering by GIY patron Darina Allen, GIY founderMichael Kelly and Paddy Gleeson from Woodies DIY.


GIY is a registered charity that aims to make home-grown food the norm by inspiring people to grow their own food and giving them the skills they need to grow successfully. We bring GIYers together in the community and online so they can have fun and learn from each other. GIY was founded by author and journalist Michael Kelly in 2009 and there are now nearly 100 GIY groups around Ireland and 10,000 people involved. The organisation started in Australia last year and will launch in the UK in 2011.


GIYer of the Year Pic: L-R Michael Kelly, GIY; Amanda Braddock, GIYer of the Year 2011; GIY Patron Darina Allen and Paddy Gleeson from Woodies DIY


GIY Group of the Year 2011 GIY Rathgar/Terenure: Pic: L-R Michael Kelly, GIY; Fran Power (GIY Rathgar/Terenure); GIY Patron Darina Allen and Paddy Gleeson from Woodies DIY