On Saturday, April 27, the IUSA and the US Embassy Youth Council joined Localise in helping with the ‘Garden of Hope’ Getting startedproject in the Simon Community centre on Sean McDermott street.

Organised by fellow alumnus Derek from Localise, the volunteers came from a number of backgrounds – locals, IUSA┬ámembers, members of the US Embassy Youth Council and some from Localise itself, as well as some trained professionals. All of us came together to do the lifting, moving, digging, and chopping that are part and parcel of putting a garden together from scratch.

The project itself has been designed by well-known gardener Diarmuid Gavin, and he was on hand in the morning to give some tips and advice on how to go about our work.

Diarmuid Gavins gives the marching ordersI was immensely impressed by the number of people that turned up on the day and, indeed, the sheer diversity of the groups that came together to help. After Diarmuid Gavin gave the orders, everybody got to work on their own tasks and – all told – it was a fantastically efficient process (that even I couldn’t hamper!).

The work that I was involved in was transporting bricks/paving stones from the street, down a lane and to the back of the building on Sean McDermott street which – in principle – sounds straightforward but, in reality, was tiring when repeated a couple of hundred times!

The toil was worth it though and, when I left, the garden was certainly different from when I arrived and I am certain that by this time next week it will be a completely transformed space. All in all, it was a fantastically worthwhile way to spend a Saturday and one which I would be keen to repeat. I’m delighted with the initiative from Localise, and proud that IUSA played a role in it – and I hope to play a part in plenty more such endeavours in the future.


Noel Rock
WIP Alumnus
IUSA Board Member