Peter McVerry Trust wins garden award
Peter McVerry Trust won the People’s Choice Show Garden Award at the Bord Bia Bloom 2022 garden festival in the Phoenix Park, Dublin, from 2 to 6 June 2022. The show garden, which also won a Gold Medal, was designed to represent the journey from homelessness and sleeping rough to living in a safe and secure home.
Entitled Pathways to Home, the garden was designed by Seán O’Malley and Oisin Griffin of Griffin Landscape Architecture [pictured] and was delivered in partnership with The Housing Agency. The People’s Choice Award was decided by a public vote. Attendees at the festival were asked to vote for their favourite garden.
According to Peter McVerry Trust, the Pathways to Home garden prompts consideration of the pathways undertaken and challenges faced by people supported by the highly successful and innovative ‘Housing First’ model. Housing First provides a person sleeping rough with their own secure accommodation as well as access to intensive and specialised support services.
Laura Hally, head of communications at Peter McVerry Trust, commented on the show garden in the Irish Independent. She said:
“It’s going to be turned into a mindfulness garden in the charity’s emergency accommodation service in Kildare and our clients are going to work with the materials to build the garden and to look after the garden.
“We’re looking to create a really peaceful haven. We want people to come away from our garden with the feeling that people who are experiencing homelessness can lead a happy and full life, but they need the support to do so.”
In other news, Fr Peter McVerry SJ spoke at a rally to address the cost-of-living and housing crisis outside Government buildings in Dublin on Wednesday 15 June 2022. He said:
“We are facing a housing catastrophe which is only going to get worse.
“Houses are becoming more and more unaffordable for ordinary people. Rents continue to rise to unaffordable levels. There are some solutions which we could implement immediately (breakingnews.ie).”
Fr McVerry also spoke publicly at a Cost of Living protest on Saturday 18 June by the Garden of Remembrance and O’Connell Street, Dublin.
He told the crowd that young people do not want to stay in Ireland because of the excessive cost of living and rent.
“I am in despair,” he said. “We have had a housing crisis for several decades and it’s simply getting worse (The Irish Times).”