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Powerful Learning's Come in Unusual Places

Date:12th August 2019

As I sit down to reflect on the success of our HEINEKEN Volunteer Day over a week ago with Field of Dreams, I expected to dwell on the day itself, which resulted in the conversion of 400 metres of weeded bank to a place of commercial growing, or perhaps on the recruitment drive to gather the 50 volunteers we needed to achieve this. I was so proud to see us all in our HEINEKEN Growing with our Communities t-shirts working hard as one team and giving back to the community. However, it was not the day itself that stood the test of time for me, rather it was a day two weeks before that.

I along with two colleagues were visiting the Field of Dreams site in Cork to do the standard planning work which involved making lists, checking Health & Safety and taking the pre event PR shots. At the end of the session, we were invited for tea in the shared kitchen and rumours circulated that results of the QQI, level 3 exams were being announced. Tension and excitement mounted.

As the full horticulture class sat around the table, each of their names were called and the results shared – Maeve Pass, Sean Pass, Jennifer Pass…. and so on it went around the table of 12. What an incredible result that this full group had achieved what they set out to do. Well done to you all!

But what followed was where the real learning was gained as they cheered, laughed and cried at the enormity of it all - very real emotions for anyone who has achieved what they set out to do.

In the midst of the excitement, someone made the brave move to give a speech, thus involving more cheers, high fives and promoted a series of individual speeches where everyone who had helped them along the way was mentioned by name and thanked. At the same time others hugged and supported those whose emotions had got the better of them. Myself and my team, sat in the midst of this, almost like we were watching a movie, feeling so grateful to have been included in this proud moment – we walked away, clearly knowing that we had made the right decision to support this super project and taking these lessons home –

·      Celebrate every success

·      Be grateful to those that have helped along the way

·      Support each other

Thank you to Field of Dreams and the class of 2019 for reminding us of these key life lessons. So proud of playing our part in helping Maeve and her friends at Field of Dreams.

Thanks to all the team at Field of Dreams for facilitating and welcome us, Grainne Dwyer and Stori Creative for this great video and to GIY for being such great partners!