About the London Irish Centre
In 1955, the London Irish Centre (LIC) opened its doors to meet the needs of newly arrived Irish emigrants. Initially providing accommodation and welfare, the Centre quickly became an important community, social and cultural venue.
Today, the LIC continues to be the Irish Heart of London – the largest Irish community centre outside of Ireland and the largest Irish welfare charity in Britain. Our mission is to empower and enrich lives through Irish community and culture. Each year they support over 2,000 individuals and have over 20,000 attendees at their arts, culture, and educational events.
This year their services were remodelled in response to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. The London Irish Centre has supported people in a wide range of ways including:
- They became the first centre offering shielding to the vulnerable in Camden, providing essential food and supplies
- They delivered over 5,000 hot meals and 2,000 food parcels to those who were shielding across London. Their volunteer drivers were often the only visitors for many people over 3 months
- They made over 3,000 check-in calls to clients providing friendly, regular contact
- Their Advice team has won £363,596 in essential benefits for clients who are disabled and at risk of poor mental and physical health. Those who they helped claim benefits were on average £72 a week better off and helps to ward off food poverty and indebtedness
- The Advice team have worked with over 1,300 clients who are in desperate need of support
- £8,671 has been given to clients through grants for white goods and other essentials
- Their online Charity Night raised over £100,000 and brought joy to so many
- A quarter of a million people participated in their digital SOLAS Season cultural programme to help people feel connected at a time of great isolation
- They helped over 200 people through their wellbeing advice helpline, taking the strain off the NHS
- They set up over 70 telephone befriending pairs who speak on the phone several times a week and who have rich links across the generations and made new friendships
The closure of the Centre due to Covid has resulted in significant financial losses. The necessity to raise funds for the LIC and its community is now more important than ever and they are doing everything they can to support those who are vulnerable at this time.
Working with our patrons, Dermot O’ Leary and Ed Sheeran, Board of Trustees, and the wider community, the LIC is in the early stages of an ambitious redevelopment project to create a world-class culture and community centre in Camden over the next five years.
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