Enterprising new markets

by Warren Tate, Robert Mangan, Julette Kearney.

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St John of God Community Services, Carmona Service, has ventured into the world of the Irish Farmers’ Markets. Each Friday, Cintra Nursery has set up shop selling plants, artwork and baked goods which have been produced by the Carmona Service’s community for the Leopardstown Market.

Cintra Nursery has long been known for its quality bedding, shrubs, hedging and herbs at its location on the Lower Glenageary Road, Dún Laoghaire. For numerous years our doors have been open to the public welcoming hobby gardeners and landscapers alike to purchase plants and get to know the peoplewho have grown them.

In the current climate we must move into new horizons. People want to have real jobs; people want to have real connections with people; and people want to contribute. We realise that Carmona Services has a lot to offer to those not connected to our service and that people need to find out what we do in Carmona Services. Using the CQL person-centred planning system, we listened to those people who said they want more opportunities to have a valued social role. By listening to people and brainstorming, the Cintra staff proposed getting enterprising. We talked to the people who told us that they wanted a change and we asked them if they wanted to try something new.

After getting a core team of marketers together we started to search for the perfect venue. We contacted Sean McArdle at the Irish Farmers’ Markets (www.irishfarmersmarkets.ie), who supported the idea of us taking a stall and, with ease, made this a reality.

The other stall holders have welcomed us with open arms. There is good banter with all the people who are part the Leopardstown market community. We are slowly building up a client base promoting our wares within our local community, and that has resulted in an increase of customers visiting our nursery in Glenageary.

Thanks to the hard work, enthusiasm and dedication from all in Cintra, we are supporting people to have new experiences and learn about the world of work. The Leopardstown market provides us with a real opportunity to be part of a community, where our presence is valued and our wares appreciated and sought after. Inclusion at its core!

Warren Tate: I have been a part of many community activities, the market is brilliant! I get to talk to people and sell lots of plants. We are doing better than ever. We would like to thank Sean and Aaron for all their help with the market and we’ll have to bring him to lunch someday!!!

Robert Mangan: I love the market; I get up very early to get everything into the van and ready to go. I hand out the samples and chat to customers. It’s really good, I love the coffee and the cheese man has lovely expensive cheese, I like that! I can walk home after the market finishes.

Above: Warren Tate, Grace Kinirons, Avril Wilson Rankin, David O’Sullivan