Dublin Simon Community support worker seeks to address homelessness through ‘green care’

by Rachel Cunningham
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Licia Patrizi, a support worker with the Simon Community and student at Adult Continuing Education at UCC, won a place on the prestigious European Green for Care Summer School. 

Ms Patrizi earned her place on the course with a project she developed aiming to address homelessness through green care. 

She travelled to the University of Padova, in Italy, to participate in the summer school for three weeks over June and July. 

“My business idea involves urban green care. At Dublin Simon Community we firmly believe recovery is not merely about sobriety, just as ending homelessness is not merely about accessing accommodation,” Licia explained. 

“I was inspired by my colleague, Corina, in Dublin Simon Community, Dundalk, who is an amazing person, full of love for what she does. I had just started a social farming course and was looking for a push to start something in my workplace. 

“I contacted Corina and, despite not even knowing me well, she opened the door of her own farm and brought me to meet social farmer, Matthew, and participants. 

“Corina had started a gardening project with Simon’s participants and had plenty of stories and helpful advice. We wanted to bring that warmth and spontaneity back to Dublin and thought it would be great for our clients to experience. Hopefully in the near future we can find ways to co-operate on such a project,” she said. 

The G4C summer school involved the study of vaious research fields that fall under the umbrella of green care, such as Social Agriculture/Social Farming, Green Care Tourism, Forest bathing/Forest Therapy and Urban Green Care.

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