Pride of Place 2024

Community Wellbeing

Johnstown has a significant population with over 3,000 homes. As part of Navan it has it's own identifiable community and our varied endeavors to improve and maintain our neighbourhood draws on support from local residents, four nearby schools, three local sports grounds, government bodies, and several local businesses.

Highlights of the Year

Our volunteers are proactively seeking to reveal the best that Johnstown can offer.


Objectives

We aim to draw people together, especially those interested in the environment and community, or those with free time, energy, and enthusiasm wishing to make positive contributions.


Formation

Our Tidy Towns was formed in late 2016 to resolve local litter issues and at the time Navan Tidy Towns wasn't entering the competition. Our services to those in less fortunate circumstances were founded in early 2020 with our participation in Meath County Council’s Covid-19 Community Response Group and when the Tidy Towns competition was canceled and volunteers sought to help in other ways.


Assistance

Our engagement with businesses, community groups, and organisations is widespread and each offers something positive. 

Please see our Partnerships & Collaboration listing showing those who have helped in the past 12mths.


View Our 


Contribution

We offer a wealth of local opportunities that support mental health, physical exercise, and sometimes food, clothing, and shelter too.

Our diverse environment projects range from litter picking, tree planting, grass cutting, and graffiti removal, to watering flower baskets. These often simple tasks offer a sense of purpose, achievement, and belonging, opportunities to meet local people, make new friends, and generally 'slow down life' helping to focus on the simple things that can give pleasure and aid mental health. Those seeking fresh air, physical exercise, or even lots of planning and administration can find more than enough to do all year round, especially given the large scale of Johnstown.


Recipients

Together with the benefits for members interacting and creating a positive environmental imput we focus on helping those struggling to put food on their table or provide basic shelter to themselves or their families. The demand for both services has grown over time. The cost of living crisis has driven many families into food poverty and has increased the demand for our regular food hamper service.

The number of people homeless has reached record levels in the County. Back in 2019 we had 71 people living in emergency accommodation according to the CEO of Meath County Council in March 2024 we have 398 people which includes 100 children in emergency accommodation. As long as the demand for both services exists our volunteers will continue to meet the challenge and serve the most vulnerable people within our community. 


Our 3 main areas of work:


We work in partnership with the Athboy Share Care Group to deliver 15 to 20 food hampers on a weekly basis. Getting the food hampers ready and delivered can take up to 15 volunteers between the Athboy group assembling and us delivering.  While during the  Christmas event more than 50 volunteers were involved. We also organised Christmas food hampers Toy Store vouchers and fabulous goodie bags for all families living in emergency accommodation and other families living in food poverty with the help of the Civil Defence Smiths SuperValu St Michael's Loreto and Meath County Council.


We provide the only after-hours and weekend homeless outreach service in County Meath. When we are called out we provide hot drinks food sleeping bags and try to do everything we can to make rough sleepers as comfortable as possible. If there is one person on the street, we will do our best to make contact with them every day. Numbers on the street in Navan have ranged over the last year from 3 to 10. On outreach, we normally try to have 2 volunteers at a minimum

The transition year students in St Michael's Loreto approached us wanting to do something for disadvantaged people at Christmas. We originally planned a Christmas party for homeless families at the school. However, after consulting with Meath County Council, we were conscious that the families might have difficulty traveling to the venue.  So we decided to bring the party to them with the help of the Civil Defence ensuring that every family would be reached. Everyone went the extra mile to ensure that we brought a smile to children living in emergency accommodation over the Christmas period.  Ciara a staff member in Smiths SuperValu hand baked hundreds of gingerbread men at home which were a fantastic addition to the goodie bags the children received.


Despite mother nature's turbulent weather we:

COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT

Our list of those we've engaged with over the past 12mths for supplies or information is ever growing and varied.

Click to view partnerships

MAPS

Location

Reference Map 2024

Walking Map with referenced locations

Please Note our reduction in Mapped Are to enable the Old Johnstown Village Community Group to enter Tidy Towns in the small village category.

Green Km

Due to Mother Nature and her weather the actual final display was greatly reduced (details below)

2023 Sunflower Trail

Due to Mother Nature and her weather the actual final display was greatly reduced (details below)

COMMUNICATION

(M) Social Media Facebook

Our main means to communicate online.

Click To Read More

Our Facebook page gains the most local attention and is largely shared through the Community Group Page  Navan South Communities Unite (5,700 members), this would explains why our follower numbers don't increase greatly.

Statistics 10 May 2023 to 7th May 2024

Facebook cover page,

(M) Website

Launched in 2022 www.JohnstownTidyTowns.ie hosts a record of our endeavours, successes and learnings, together with our plans and aspirations for the environment and community.

Click To Read More

Our small team maintains the site and particularly useful for keeping a record of our work in date order has been the snapshot news page and competition entries which provide annual summaries.

Website cover page, June 2022

(M) AGM & Volunteer Of The Year

Hosted at O'Briens, Old Johnstown Village 8pm 12/12/2023, we offered congratulations to our volunteer of the year 2023 Peter Heylin.

'Peter has been a volunteer with JTT since our establishment in 2015. Because of Peter's consistent efforts as a volunteer over the years he has contributed greatly to the many awards won by the group in both the Pride of Place and Tidy Towns competitions.'

Cllr Alan Lawes

Chairman of JTT  

December 12th

(M) Raise Awareness

The first Bag Pack since Covid, Feb 2020, where we returned to Smith's SuperValu, Johnstown Shopping Centre, to help raise our profile in the community.

More about Fundraising

June 9th

GATHERING PEOPLE

Opportunities to be part of larger teams over a wider catchment area. 

(P) Supporting the Tús initiative.

The TÚS initiative is a community work placement scheme providing short-term quality work experience opportunities for unemployed people. The work opportunities are to the benefit of the community and are provided by community and voluntary organisations in both urban and rural areas.

Having made enquiries in March 2023 we are eligible and are looking into the requirements to make something positive happen. 

(N) Johnstown Community Biodiversity Action Plan

In 2023 we were delighted to receive a €5,000 grant from The Community Foundation For Ireland to create a Community Biodiversity Action Plan for Johnstown. 

A series of surveys throughout 2023 by ecologist Fintan Damer highlighted species of flora and fauna and opportunities to support biodiversity. The report has now been produced and we are discussing a plan of action to communicate and implement the proposals.

We hope to have the local schools help with key initiatives.

Read More

May 2nd

(N) Heritage Keepers

Following on from the 5-week Heritage Keepers workshops in Feb 2023, hosted by The Heritage Council and Burrenbeo Trust and supported by the Community Foundation of Ireland, and working with and led by Wild About Navan we hosted the first community event of 'Gather The Tribe' at the Solstice Theatre.

Over 40 attended the short talks, a shared lunch, and conversations to stimulate and inspire our community we shared local expertise and knowledge and learned from each other.

The outcome was to organise future events including nature talks and walks and attendees were invited to join the Wild About Navan mailing list to keep the new network connected.

June 24th, 2023

(M) Green Km

Our Green (4) Km supported biodiversity for the first time with both longer-grown grass verges and pesticide & herbicide-free pavement and curb weed removal.

Read More

 'Don't Mow Yet' May 27th
CnaMi Student support, December 12th

(N) Water Heritage Day

Following the success of the Riverside clean in April 2023 we participated in the 2nd event headed by Wild About Navan August 20th. We also envisage hosting local riverside clean-up and guided walks once we've formulated our Community Biodiversity Action Plan. Thanks to Meath County Council Local Authority Waters Programme and The Heritage Council for their support.

We participated in the 3 events organised by WildAboutNavan:

The Big Boyne clean-up along the Ramparts

Adults and kids alike helped haul 3 trolleys and 30 bags of rubbish from along our walkway. Most of the litter was composed of bottles, single use plastic, and vapes.

The Ramparts riverside nature walk 

Botanist Sinéad took us for a wander to learn more about what wildlife we can find along the Ramparts.

The River Boyne Guided Cycle with Navan Cycling Initiative

NCI and local geologist extraordinaire Dr Robbie Meehan took us on a relaxed bike ride to learn about the geodiversity of the Boyne Valley right here in Navan.

Ramparts Navan, August 20th

(N) Green School Talk

From Coláiste Na Mí

'Today our Green Schools Committee welcomed Councillor Alan Lawes, Ben Malone (biodiversity officer with Meath County Council) and Robin (Johnstown Tidy Towns) to our school. 

Our guests spoke to students on all things biodiversity. During this visit students learned about pesticides and the effects that they can have on our wildlife and water. Huge thanks to Alan, Ben and Robin for taking time out of their busy schedule to come in and chat with us. '

January 23rd

(N) Student Volunteers

From Coláiste Na Mí

Today was a day of action for our Coláiste Na Mí Green School Committee and Coordinator Iníon Elliot!

Together, they took charge of cleaning up the road leading to our school. Our incredible students worked hard, scraping weeds to prevent harmful pesticides from being sprayed and protecting our water from contamination. Plus, they did a fantastic job clearing away litter, making our environment cleaner and healthier for everyone.

A huge shoutout to Alan A Lawes and Robin from Johnstown Tidy Towns, as well as Tuscany Pizzeria, for their incredible support. They treated us to a delicious well-deserved lunch after our efforts!

A massive thank you to everyone involved for making today both productive and enjoyable. Let's keep working together for a greener, cleaner future!

#coláistenamí #CNM2023 #cleanup #tidytowns #johnstown

December 12th

(N) Monthly Cleaning Blitz Day

The first Saturday morning in May was the inaugural monthly action day event. A team effort from members of The Lighthouse Church achieved 80 manhours of work from 20+ volunteers attending to litter pick, weeding, and painting over graffiti. 

Going forward we plan to host a community action day on either the first Friday or Saturday of every month to show their pride in our area.

May 4th

(N) Helping Neighbouring Groups

Volunteers donated their time and some of our sunflowers to help The Courtyard Flower Hill Residents Group and their Pride of Place Entry.

July 17th

(M) Food Poverty

We continue to support families experiencing food poverty with weekly deliveries by volunteers within the Navan area. Out volunteers are supporting Core Ireland and the Athboy People Who Care Share group.


May 5th

(M) Navan Outreach

Volunteers continue to support those homeless and those camping on the streets, or wasteland, in Navan. A report is being compiled and sent to the Council for a long-term solution to be found.

Read More

Warm Clothing Donation

A huge thank you to Janette and her fellow workers in @penneysnavan for donating a huge amount of warm winter clothing to the homeless.

Jackei and Paul of The Joshua Project on Kennedy Road in Navan who are serving Christmas Dinner to the homeless community, have agreed to hand out the clothing on Christmas Day.

December 12th

(M) Christmas Shoebox and Food Hampers

Thanks to all who helped make Christmas a little more special for 72 homeless families and their 125 children across Meath today.

Thanks to Core Ireland Athboy's People Who Share Care Group Malones Navan Smiths SuperValu Loreto Secondary School, St. Michael's, Navan Versatile Bathrooms & Tiles Meath County Council.  Fr Mc Verry HUB Sharon Lynch and the Meath Civil Defence.

Read More

Gingerbread Maker

What made this year's Christmas a little bit more special was that people like Ciara Carroll a staff member with @smiths_supervalu_navan went the extra mile and personally baked 700 gingerbread men to add to the many treats and goodies given to the children. 

December 15th

Christmas Party

The Meath Chronicle provided a great write-up on our plans to host a party to spread some cheer to families and individuals spending Christmas homeless or in temporary accommodation.

Read More

December 1st

PLANTING DISPLAYS

Opportunities to meet, interact, and achieve positive practical results often individually or in small groups.

(M) Sunflower Trail

Following the success of 2022 we took the opportunity to expand and proposed over 50 sites with two routes. The 4 local school students participated in germinating and growing flowers for the public spaces. The local 'Grow Shop' generously donated over 40 compost bags and 10 local residents agreed to germinate an extra 500 seeds in their own gardens for sharing amongst their neighbours' front gardens to fill in the 'trail gaps'.

The weather ultimately decided the success of the trail and the germination of 1400 sunflowers was severly hampered by the very wet and unseasonal cool weather. The small plants were more susceptible to hungry slugs (we didn't encourage slug pellets) and coupled with the slow plant growth the final crop was less than 20%. This resulted in only 16 display sites. 

The 2024 trail has been abandoned due to a number of key volunteers being unavailable during critical months of May, June, and early July. We hope to have the sunflower trail re-established in 2025. 

2023 Sunflower Trail

2023 Logo, April to September

Proposed 2023 Trail

(N&M) St Martha's Bridge Flower Displays Map Ref 1

For the first time we hosted both Summer and Winter flower display at St Martha's Bridge with both being extremely well received by followers on social media. 

The Summer emphasis was pollininators whilst the over-winter plants added delicate colour during the darker colder months.

Thank you to Navan Garden Centre for the Summer display and Beechmount Garden Centre for creating our first ever autumn display.

Read More

Summer Display

June 26th to November 3rd 2023

Autum, Winter, and Spring Display

November 2023 to June 2024

(P) Bothar Sion Bank Map Ref 2

Our initial proposal for a sculpture and biodiversity planting project in collaboration with Wild About Navan and Cllr Yemi Adenuga, initially proposed to MCC in 2021, is still on hold. The results from an ecology report highlighted the considerable biodiversity value with over 50+ valued species within the banks that meant we should significantly scale back the project. 

The forthcoming Council elections 2024 may determine if funding for this project is available.

Year 3, July 26th 2023

(M) Bailis Downs Fence Line Map Ref 4

The Bothar Sion Fence Line Native Irish Wildflowers originally came from an expensive seed packet and since each flower produces hundreds of seeds we've collected these.

The summer's 2nd-year display was quite different to the vivid red poppies. yellow, orange, & blue cornflowers pictured. We intervened to cast a few collected seeds in 2023 to add some vibrant colour but very few germinated and although they were noticeable grass is overpowering the site.

Read More

Bailis Downs Orchard, April 30th

(M) Dispersed Urban Orchard Map Ref 5,15 and 16

17 trees now for the contribution by Johnstown to the Wild About Navan Dispersed Urban Orchard project. Local residents attended workshops, planted and then maintain the small orchards.

Read More

(M) Athlumney Hall Verge Map Ref 6

We continue to allow the strip to evolve although at times we have cut it back to make it more presentable. In the spring it is full of dandelions and the rosemary flowers, a few colourful wildflowers emerge during summer. The challenge is over winter when it looks at its least appealing. 

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Planting area around bus stop Metges Rd North

(P) Bus Stop Planting Map Ref 7

Due to the loss of plants at the nearby Athlumney Verge site we have paused this project until we can secure volunteers living close by who will monitor any planting.

We have a volunteer trialing the sowing of clover lawn to see if this will be a suitable proposal for the grass bank instead of planting. If it is successful, we propose to change the grass at the Johnstown roundabouts.

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Berries Appear, August

(M) Former Petrol Station Verge Map Ref 8

We continue to maintain the bank as a summer meadow with no significant changes since 2023, and the raspberries returned once more in autumn.

 View More

Metges Rd, April 19th 2023

(P&M) More Metges Rd Native Trees Map Ref 10 & 12

We plan to double the length of the planting area along Metges Road east side and to double it's depth Trees received from MCC in March 2024 have been put into temporary pots ready for planting in the autumn. Local residents plant and maintain the trees.

Read More

Johnstown Wood, Spring 2022

(M) Wild Area Map Ref 11

A completely 'wild' area where we're doing very little except to leave the space alone to see what grows. After walking the site with the Biodiversity Plan ecologist we have agreed to 'do nothing' to the site until we receive feedback from his report.

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One foot tall grasses, occasional weeds, and early sighting of yellow rattle. May 25th

(M) Chestnut & Elm Estate Summer Meadows Map Ref 12

Now into our 3rd season it is visble to passing vehicles along the busy Metges Road and is quite accepted by the public with no complaints received. The sea of dandelions soon swells with grasses, we edge the plot with our lawn mower, and it severely cut back in September. The area recovered after being mistakenly cut by the contractor in Spring 2023, although the yellow rattler did not return in many locations.

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August 23rd 2023

(N&P) Estate Marker Stones Map Ref 13

We expected clover in early Spring 2023 but only the native Irish wildflowers appeared, even the Rudbeckia Goldsturm's, previously held back in pots before planting in July, didn't appreciate the soil or location.

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Yellow rattle flowers, returnefd in May

(M) Spireview Lawn Summer Meadow Map Ref 17

Yellow rattle thrived here in 2023 and returned in 2024 to make a brief appearance before turning brown for autumn harvesting by volunteers.

Read More

May 25th

(M) Spireview Parade Summer Meadow Map Ref 18

We have left the area to Mother Nature since it has not been resolved for us to manage the site as a summer meadow. It is still benefiting biodiversity although haphazardly and cutting it in September is an issue of concern.

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(M) Johnstown People's Park Map Ref 20

The Park's Management Team has continued to allow Johnstown FC the opportunity to use the park for training their youngest teams and hosting an annual soccer event. Despite being privately owned it remains open to the public however we have made no progress in changing the grass cutting regeme because it requires consent from the 600+ shareholders. Nor can we add planting or seating for the same reasons.

A meeting was called 27/05/24 to discuss the proposal from Johnstown FC to host a pitch, multipurpose space, off street parking, and playground. We await the outcome.

Proposed Football ClubSource Millbrook Facebook Group

(N) Winter Lights Display Map Ref 23

Volunteers adorned ten tree with LED lights along Metges Road. Illuminated by batteries they added a subtle sparkle to a dark stretch between 4pm and 10pm each evening.

Read More

November 28th to January 2024

INDEX