Page 1

LIC Annual Report 16_17_Layout 1 10/05/2018 12:36 Page 2

LONDON IRISH CENTRE CHARITY Annual Review 2016 - 2017

LIC Annual Report 16_17_Layout 1 10/05/2018 12:36 Page 3


“The Irish Centre is a lifeline, when I was in need I was helped. I have been coming in here for 60 years. I am a life member and I can honestly say, I look forward to coming to the Centre each day. The staff and the volunteers make the Centre, they are cheerful and welcoming.� Mary Allen 2

LIC Annual Report 16_17_Layout 1 10/05/2018 12:36 Page 4




In Culture, we manage London’s leading Irish cultural programme, welcoming over 20,000 people every year. We offer space and assistance for over 400 Irish community events, and provide support and advice to a mix of Irish artists and cultural organisations; this total support was valued at close to £100,000. Our popular Irish Library holds over 6,000 books and our educational programme is high quality and fast-growing.

Welcome to the London Irish Centre Charity Annual Review. This report will provide you with a brief review of the vast range of projects, activities and events that have taken place over the past 12 months. Working in three key areas of Care, Culture and Community we continue to serve the Irish in London 7 days a week, 52 weeks of the year.

The Community will always be at the heart of the charity. The Irish in London are diverse and spread across the city. We offer a warm and welcoming connection to a vibrant and supportive Irish community.

Care is the core of our work and we support the most vulnerable – with advice services and crisis assistance, dedicated outreach, advocates and case workers for older Irish, day services with nutritious meals, accessible social groups and activities to combat loneliness. We also provide small crisis grants, family tracing and assistance with returning to Ireland.

Through our online networks, our events programme, volunteering and befriending opportunities and of course our historic and iconic Camden community centre, all are welcome to participate.


LIC Annual Report 16_17_Layout 1 10/05/2018 12:36 Page 5

A MESSAGE FROM OUR CEO The charity`s third area of focus was `innovation` and we were delighted to win a £20,000 grant from the Transform Foundation to build a new website. We have completed phase one of the programme and plan to add further online services and facilities. We have added in Cascade software for HR management, Better Impact for Volunteer Management and improved our hardware/networks. Investment in the Camden building continued with the first stage of our Community Services Reception completed, new bi-lingual signage and the creation of new spaces for more charity partnerships. Together with our partners Sliced Events we have upgraded AV and IT in the main conference and events spaces and this partnership continues to develop.


he London Irish Centre charity is now 63 years old and has changed and adapted to demand over this time - from its original purpose as a hostel for young Irish men, evolving into predominantly a social space, later becoming welfare focused and which today is a multi-purpose charity and Community Centre. During this time the focus has remained the same, to offer support and friendship to the Irish community of any generation as well as to the wider London community.

This Annual Review covers a very busy and productive 12 months from 1st October 2016 to 30th September 2017 and over this period the team have been focusing on three key operational areas - Impact, Income and Innovation.

It is a pleasure working at the LIC and much of this is down to the people who work here, the team and the volunteers who carry out so much vital work. Over the past year the charity has undergone many changes and the team have been fantastic in embracing and supporting these. We were delighted to host, in September, a celebratory lunch for Maeve Heath who has been working and volunteering at the LIC for 40 years – a wonderful occasion for a wonderful supporter.

We were delighted to win one of the inaugural Impact Management Programme grants (£49,750) and this has given us the opportunity to begin developing a new framework for both measuring and managing impact and this project will continue through 2018. Through the year we have supported over 2,000 through our Community Services (Advice, Outreach and Wellbeing) where we are noticing the needs of the clients and the length of time required to work with each individual client is increasing.

A very special event happened in June 2017, when the LICC unveiled a plaque to commemorate the many who came to Britain after the war and helped to rebuild the country. Often called `The Forgotten Irish` these women and men sent back to Ireland remittances which contributed to the Irish economy during a time of great deprivation as well as building a foundation for future emigrants to Britain.

Just over 20,000 people came to culture, arts and education events in the same period with a further 45,000 using the Centre for conferences, training and social events, whilst the number registered though our various media (printed and social) exceeded 45,000 for the first time.

We are looking forward to 2018 and beyond, welcoming Ed Sheeran and many other artists, helping and assisting those most in need and unveiling plans for a major `reimagining` of the Centre.

Charity sector funding has become increasingly difficult over the past 5 years and we have had to continuously innovate in order to grow other income streams as well as develop new. Once such development was the creation of our Friends Scheme which was launched in March 2017 and has grown steadily each month. We have also continued to increase the rental revenue from the Centre which is now in close to £300,000. I am extremely grateful to those who have supported us through grants, sponsorship, events, fundraising and donations. I am delighted that we were able to record a cash surplus this year (excluding depreciations) and we are planning for an increase in the surplus this coming year.

Séan Kennedy CEO


LIC Annual Report 16_17_Layout 1 10/05/2018 12:36 Page 6

A MESSAGE FROM OUR CHAIR Many thanks are due as well to Margaret Brown, our Honorary Life Member who continues to raise funds for us and this year, in particular, contributed the plaque to the Forgotten Irish which the Ambassador unveiled in a moving and celebratory ceremony.


few days ago somebody said to me, “The Centre is a real home for the Irish.” It has been encouraging over the last year to hear more people say similar things, and anecdotally affirm that the Charity is moving to achieve its vision of being the Heart of the Irish in London, a goal we set ourselves during the year under report. A vision has to be realised through appropriate planning and action where the charity looks to the future and decides how to meet the needs, wants and likes of the community it is to serve.

After several years as Chair of the Board of Trustees, Seán Kennedy stepped down in order to take over as the Charity’s Chief Executive Officer. He is owed many thanks for the unflagging effort he put in and congratulations for all that was achieved during his time on the Board. The Charity is very lucky that he has not gone, and is continuing to lead in developing and managing our work.

To do this we have taken account of what we found out through the survey of stakeholders mentioned last year and through further gathering of information from the people who come to the Centre or use our services in other ways, whether these fall under care, community or culture, the three areas of our work. We continue to gather figures and case-studies, feedback and comments to inform our planning, and welcome opinions and views that anyone may want to offer.

My thanks go to Lyndsey Drea who stepped down as a Trustee and to all my fellow Trustees for their contribution during the year. Our standing committee members contribute significantly to our operations and thanks are due to Melanie Black, Brid Breathnach and Charlotte Curran (Community Services); Dylan Haskins, Loraine Maher and John Nolan (Culture); Mark Fitzpatrick (Building) and Josie McGeady, AnnMaria McCarthy, Jim Quinn, Nicola Quinn, Sean McDermott, Jamie Fahy and Caroline McLaughlin (Events).

During the year the Board and the Executive began to look at ways to develop the Centre and these plans continue to progress with the aim of ensuring that it is fit for purpose. The outcome of our fundraising efforts and grant applications has improved, there is more to do, and these areas continue to be a priority. Staff training and development is a priority, and one grant is giving training in impact management which will improve monitoring and evaluation of what we do.

The dedication and hard work of our staff always impresses me; as we develop our various projects and services they have to adopt and adapt to change, and they have shown their commitment to and belief in what we do by their willingness to take on new practice. On behalf of the Board I am pleased to acknowledge all that the staff and our many volunteers accomplish.

This feeds into managing change and development of the charity and its work, as well as providing information, data and stories which we can use to show funders what we have achieved and might achieve with their support. One way each of us can help support is by joining the Friends Scheme.

Dermot Murphy Chair of the Board of Trustees

We are very grateful to all who support the charity, in particular the Irish Government’s Emigrant Support Programme funded through the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the Irish Youth Foundation, Culture Ireland, the Benevolent Society of St. Patrick, the Transform Foundation and the Impact Management Programme.


LIC Annual Report 16_17_Layout 1 10/05/2018 12:36 Page 7

Dermot O’Leary visits the London Irish Centre


Super Patron Dermot O’Leary paid a visit to the LIC on the 17th August to meet and greet ‘Friends of the London Irish Centre charity’. Camden resident Dermot was originally scheduled to stay for an hour however such was the demand for chats and banter with the group that he settled in for the afternoon. He is immensely popular at the LICC and has been a great supporter and promoter over the last two years since he took on the role. We are looking forward to a huge new fundraiser in June 2018 hosted by Dermot. He even took time out to play football with a few of the local children – don’t give up the day job Dermot!

The London Irish Library The London Irish Library opened its doors to the public in 2015 and has flourished ever since! Opening three days a week, the library is managed by a dedicated team of volunteers, ran by our Librarian John Dunne. The Library holds a unique collection of over 7,000 books, offering a very special Irish cultural experience to lovers of all types of Literature. Read more from our London Irish Librarian, John Dunne, on page 15.

“It’s a big honour for me to become a patron of the LICC. I’m very proud of my Irish heritage, my parents were part of the post war generation of immigrants who came to London to find a new life, so the London Irish community is one that is very close to my heart. I’m looking forward to helping LICC both promote Irish culture and to help them with their equally important role of helping the vulnerable in the local community”.

Partnership with Culture Ireland A new partnership with Culture Ireland was developed which awarded us funding for our Summer programme in 2017. Culture Ireland works to promote Irish Culture worldwide by supporting opportunities for Irish Artists and companies to present their work. As part of the annual funding, we will be bringing 100 Irish artists to Britain through 2018 as part of Culture Ireland’s GB18 programme. We are hugely appreciative and honoured to be one of the few venues in England to receive this grant.

Dermot O’Leary London Irish Centre Charity Patron 6

LIC Annual Report 16_17_Layout 1 10/05/2018 12:36 Page 8

Unveiling the plaque to the “Forgotten Irish” June 26th 2017 was one of the most emotional events at the LIC in many years. Hundreds turned out to witness Ambassador Mulhall and Camden Mayor Richard Cotton unveil a plaque to the Irish men and women who rebuilt Britain in the 1950’s. Ambassador Mulhall spoke of the debt Ireland owes to the hundreds of thousands of men and women who helped rebuild London after WW2 and in doing so made the journey easier for each subsequent Irish emigrants to London. He spoke of the millions (estimated to be €1billion equivalent today) which was sent home in the 50s, 60s and 70s by those nurses, builders and bar staff whose hard earned money helped fund Irish government services at the time. The plaque is a sister of the Dún Laoghaire monument and credit is due to Margaret Brown and the Friends of the “Forgotten Irish” for making this possible.

The plaque’s inscription reads: The Forgotten Irish - In commemoration of that generation of post-World War II Irish emigrants, both men and women, who left their homes, counties and country. They came to work and rebuild this city and country, ravaged and destroyed by war. Sometimes called "The Forgotten Irish", many would never return to Ireland. This plaque recalls their contribution and their loss. Supported by Friends of the "Forgotten Irish" and the London Irish Centre. 26th June 2017 7

LIC Annual Report 16_17_Layout 1 10/05/2018 12:36 Page 9

Supporting clients through DWP appeals


We have observed a significant increase in the number of people who are refused welfare benefits upon first application. Our advice workers work closely with clients to support them though the benefits process.

Welfare Service We provide specialist accredited advice, support and assistance on a wide range of welfare issues to people across London. We can offer short term crisis intervention, as well as longer term casework. We help with housing issues, welfare benefits, Irish pensions, birth certs and passports, and linking in with health services.

Our aim is to empower our clients by ensuring that they know what their entitlements are, and how best to get those entitlements. Clients are provided with information and guidance in relation to income maximisation, DWP medical assessments, written appeals and the tribunal process.

In addition to advice services at our main premises in Camden Square, the London Irish Centre Charity also offers satellite advice and outreach services across London. We have satellite advice services in Kilburn, West London (Shepherd’s Bush) and South London. Our outreach workers work across West, North, and South West London.

Where necessary, we can offer representation at tribunal level. We understand that attending a tribunal can be incredibly daunting and stressful for clients, so we want to ensure we give our clients every support possible to make this process manageable.

We deliver our advice and outreach services in a number of ways: face to face in our offices or home visits, via telephone, email or social media platforms, and through advocacy and representations.

To date, at each tribunal that we have attended, we have been successful. This is credit to the hard work and determination of our staff who spend the time gathering evidence, liaising and advocating, ensuring when clients attend tribunals they have the appropriate evidence to represent their cases.

Our outreach services are for people over the age of 55, who have reduced mobility and are unable to attend the centre in person. Our outreach workers conduct home visits and assist with issues such as housing, health and benefit entitlements, as well as looking at access to social opportunities and befriending.

Our work in assisting clients to claim benefits has resulted in increased annual income of £615,263. This income makes a significant impact to the lives of our clients.

Our outreach workers work with our most vulnerable clients; those who are housebound, and often completely isolated from friends and family.

“I am astounded by the amount of work that happens here, the centre helps young and old, today, I watched an advice worker support a young mother; her kindness and her patience was lovely to see”. Mary, a volunteer at the LICC

The Advice & Outreach deliver support under four key outcomes: 1.

Income Maximisation


Preventing Homelessness & Improving Housing Conditions


Improving Health & Wellbeing


Maintaining links between Ireland and London An example of this, is our work on Income Maximisation: 8

LIC Annual Report 16_17_Layout 1 10/05/2018 12:36 Page 10


Crosscare Migrant Project & Safe Home Ireland Returning to Ireland Information Session In June 2017, we facilitated a ‘Returning to Ireland’ information session in the London Irish Centre in collaboration with Crosscare Migrant Project and Safe Home Ireland. This event was attended by a number of colleagues from other Irish organisations and there was an opportunity to network with partner agencies, whilst getting up-to-date information on returning to Ireland for the Irish abroad.

Service Transformation As a service, we are always changing and evolving to ensure that we are meeting the changing needs of our clients and key stakeholders. In this era of increased cutbacks to funding, we are acutely aware of making sure services are running effectively and efficiently, without impacting the quality of the service. We always put our clients first and strive to ensure no one is turned away. As part of the transformation of our service, we have made some changes to how and where we deliver our services.

‘Working in partnership with the London Irish Centre was invaluable. It meant we could we could offer capacity building training in the heart of London at no cost to participants, and help Irish groups in Britain to respond to queries from Irish emigrants considering a return to Ireland.’ Sarah Owen, Crosscare Migrant Project

We now offer a satellite advice service in the Freston Road Community Hub located at 196 Freston Road, W10 6TT.

Partnerships During the year, we focused on developing new partnerships with a wide range of organisations and agencies. We recognise the importance of working collaboratively with our partners in order to ensure services are ‘joined up’ and thus able to deliver a holistic service to clients. Some of our partnerships include:

The GAA ‘Good Match’ The LICC and Eire Óg were partnered for the GAA ‘Good Match’ Programme, with the hope of creating a strong connection between the young Irish people in the GAA team with the older people who use the LICC wellbeing service. Initially we introduced members of the team to the Wellbeing Service and clients. An intergenerational ‘summer day’ was planned with a health and wellbeing focus. This event was held in the day centre with a variety of activities and a focus on three main areas: nutrition, exercise and emotional wellbeing. Approximately 70 people attended the ‘summer day’ including 10 volunteers and 10 members of the Eire Óg club. It was a wonderful opportunity for young and old to connect and the day was very positively received.

Legal Advice Surgery

We provide a monthly free legal advice surgery as part of the Camden advice service. This invaluable service is run with a volunteer solicitor, Damian. Damian provides essential legal advice to some of our most vulnerable clients. Having Damian on-board ensures that our clients are given accurate and responsive legal advice. This can mean that clients know when and how to take action where necessary, preventing issues further down the line. “Providing legal advice at the centre has given me the opportunity to give back to the community, and in particular to provide a service to those who are often marginalised by society and circumstance and who would not ordinarily be able to afford or have the ability to access legal services.” Damian, Volunteer Solicitor. 9

LIC Annual Report 16_17_Layout 1 10/05/2018 12:36 Page 11


Dementia Group

The Wellbeing Service was set up to reduce social isolation and improve the emotional and social wellbeing for the Irish Community. The Wellbeing Service is made up of the Day Centre, Social Groups, Tea Dance and our Dementia group. Many of the clients that attend these services are migrants who came to London in the 1950s and 60s, when the London Irish Centre was a place where they visited to connect them with their Community. Now, as many are older and in another phase of their lives, the Centre continues to offer them support, community and vital social opportunities. Many of the clients are living alone and this service is vital in addressing loneliness.

Each month we host a Dementia group for families and carers living with dementia. The aim of the group is to help people who are living with dementia. The group allows people to come together and share experiences and provides a vital means in accessing specific support.

Feedback The wellbeing service conducts an annual impact survey with all of their clients. This can be completed on line or staff will assist. The survey is sent to all registered users and those that attend the social groups. The most recent survey was carried in July 2016. A total of 119 clients were interviewed with 69% of survey participant’s female and 31% male. The results are grouped according to the four needs identified earlier. Respondents were asked to rate a range of question as either ‘had a significant impact’; ‘had some impact’ or ‘had no impact’.

Our Day Centre Our Day Centre is located in the Kennedy Hall at the London Irish Centre. It runs three days a week offering nutritious and comforting home-cooked meals and a range of activities and classes including: chair based exercises, health information days, wellbeing workshops, art classes, bingo, quizzes, holidays, language classes, and day trips. The day service provides a vital social opportunity and facilitates the building of social networks. The key outcomes of our service is to: 1.

Address loneliness and isolation


Promote independence


Promote health and wellbeing


Foster a sense of Irish Community

1. Loneliness and isolation 83% stated the service had a significant impact on ‘the amount of friends the client had’ 89% stated the service had a significant impact on ‘reduction in isolation and loneliness’ 88% stated the service had a significant impact on ‘opportunities to socialise’

Tea Dances

3. Improved wellbeing – both physical and mental

Our Tea Dance takes place in the McNamara and Presidential Suites, at the London Irish Centre. The Tea Dance has been running for many years and regularly welcomes keen dancers to come together and enjoy a dance. The Tea Dance always has a live band and light refreshments. Over the year we host regular Irish breakfasts which bring together our clients with the Irish community to have breakfast. This event is growing and we look forward to developing it in the coming year.

83% stated the service had a significant impact on ‘understanding of long term health conditions’ 79% stated the service had a significant impact on ‘physical wellbeing’ 79% stated the service had a significant impact on ‘mental wellbeing’ 10

2. Maintain independence and ability to remain at home 71% stated the service had a significant impact on ‘ability to ask for help’ 67% stated the service had a significant impact on ‘life skills’

4. To be part of a group of culturally similar individuals 90% stated the service had a significant impact on ‘being part of a community’ 83% stated the service had a significant impact on ‘access to Irish culture’

LIC Annual Report 16_17_Layout 1 10/05/2018 12:36 Page 12


Social Groups For members of the older Irish Community who may not be able to travel to Camden we run Social Groups throughout London. These groups provide an opportunity for the Irish community to come together and socialise. The groups offer activities, classes, health information, exercise sessions, and refreshments. They create an opportunity for people to celebrate and enjoy their culture, to have fun and make new friends. Carers are also welcome. The groups are located in Sutton, Ealing, Hanwell, Shepherd’s Bush and Hammersmith.

Ealing The Ealing group meets every Thursday afternoon. Each week with a team of dedicated volunteers, Maria opens the doors to invite in a group of older Irish clients who have retired or live alone. Many of the clients have been coming for years and they enjoy meeting and socialising with each other.

Trip to Amsterdam Carole and Maria who are the Wellbeing Officers talk about their trip to Amsterdam.

111 Camden Luncheon club members

298 Other Social Group members (Hanwell; Sutton; Hammersmith; Shepherds Bush and Ealing)

3,339 Meals served at Camden Lunch Club

31 Number of Referrals made (to health professionals/ external welfare services etc.)

5 Health Promotion Events



“In June we decided to venture a little further afield and after speaking to our clients we decided on Amsterdam. We left on Friday the 23rd of June. 40 older Irish clients all met in Victoria station where our adventure started. None of the clients has ever been to Amsterdam before! Our journey time to Amsterdam took over 12 hours, time flew by as we started to settle back and enjoy the trip. The clients were from all of our different social groups and from Camden. It wasn’t long until people who had never met started to chat and new friendships started to develop.

Fitness and Activity Events Attendees

128 Social Group Sessions

4,304 Social Group Sessions Attendees

15 Tea Dances

1,068 Tea Dance Attendees

“Each day we went on a different trip, some of our older clients who were less mobile needed help to get around, however we worked together to ensure that everyone was able to enjoy the different activities. We spent every evening singing till midnight it was absolutely brilliant to see everyone sitting around and enjoying themselves. It was lovely to see clients who had only just met sitting down playing the piano together.”

41 External Events (day trips etc.)

958 External Event Attendees

Health Promotion Event Attendees

210 Fitness and activity Events held

9,548 Total Attendance at ALL events and sessions 11

LIC Annual Report 16_17_Layout 1 10/05/2018 12:36 Page 13


Big Night Out and Events Josie Mc Geady, Ann-Maria McCarthy, Jim Quinn, Alex O’Cinneide, Nicola Quinn, Mary Kerrigan, Sean McDermot, Jamie Fahy and Caroline McLaughlin

Building Mark Fitzpatrick

Community Services Melanie Black, Brid Breathnach and Charlotte Curran

Culture Dylan Haskins, Oonagh Murphy, Anna Doyle, John Nolan and Loraine Maher

Volunteering Awards We were delighted the contribution and efforts of John Dunne and Maureen Stanley were acknowledged at the Camden Volunteer Awards. John has been tireless in setting up and establishing the Irish Library as well as advising and assisting with our culture events whilst Maureen`s work has been invaluable with our Kerry Trip, Tea Dances and Telephone Befriending.

Volunteering Feedback Each year we ask volunteers why they volunteer for the charity: The charity’s volunteers are vital to our work and each day help us to deliver many of the charity’s projects. In the past 12 months close to 100 volunteers assisted our work across 25 different roles. The Economic Value to the LICC is estimated at £130,000 and the Wellbeing Value to the volunteers at £93,000.

Improving self-worth 92% felt volunteering with the LICC made them feel more positive and engaged. Improvements in skill set 62% believed volunteering had improved their skill set or employability. Maintaining a link to Ireland 78% of volunteers believed volunteering at the LICC had maintained or increased their connection to Ireland and/or Irish identity.

“Volunteering is about giving but we also receive the privilege to witness the resilience, dignity and humour of those we encounter. To prospective volunteers: go for it, engage and enjoy!” Deirdre Durkin, Volunteer


LIC Annual Report 16_17_Layout 1 10/05/2018 12:36 Page 14

Lost Contact (formerly Missing Persons) Project This invaluable project allows family to trace long lost relatives who, typically, moved to London many years ago and lost touch with their family. Please contact kimjackson@londonirishcentre.org if you wish to find out more about using this service.

Kerry Holiday

Befriending project

Kerry Emigrant Support (KES) in partnership with the London Irish Centre charity organises a yearly trip to Kerry for older clients who would not be able to make the journey alone.

The Befriending Service was established to support clients who are socially isolated, vulnerable and who would benefit from befriending support. Volunteers are matched to service users for a minimum of one hour per week to offer a supportive friendship. The project supported 25 clients across four local authorities and 100% surveyed felt the service had an overwhelmingly positive impact on them.

Ages ranged from 56 to 80 years and they had not been back to Ireland for between 4 and 30 years. The average age of the client was 67. Clients reported after their return as follows: 83% were more likely to take part in social activities 77% stated the experience had a positive effective on their health 90% stated the experience had a positive effective on their mood

The aim of the service is to: 1.

Reduce isolation and improve wellbeing


Enable welfare service uptake of both internal and external services for older Irish people


Help older Irish people retain their independence


Meet the cultural needs of clients

The Benefits for our clients are: One client summed it up:

■ Companionship ■ Emotional support ■ Health benefits ■ Self-esteem & confidence ■ Increased social awareness ■ Learning how to relate to others ■ Using community resources and services

“There is great comradeship, the care of the staff is out of this world. It is a trip of a lifetime and magical and perfection. You will experience kindness and great charitable deeds”.


LIC Annual Report 16_17_Layout 1 10/05/2018 12:36 Page 15

CEOL Series


We launched our new series CEOL which showcased the cream of traditional, folk music and singer songwriters from Ireland. We welcomed the hugely talented Caoimhin O’Raghallaigh and Cormac Begley, John Doyle, Sean Keane and many more attracted sell-out audiences.

London Irish Playgroup The new London Irish playgroup launched in December 2016. This exciting new initiative, supported by the London Irish Centre Charity. This playgroup, led by parents, is a free and aims to give children and fun experiences with the Irish Language, songs, music and the wider Irish culture. The London Irish playgroup meet on a monthly basis.

London Irish Arts Festival Following on from the success of Céad in 2016, the London Irish Arts Festival returned in June 2017 for a full weekend. As part of the festival, we partnered with Books Ireland who programmed a day of Irish Literature, including, food demonstrations, children’s illustration workshops, writings advice sessions, a popup book shop and many more. As well as the Irish Literary day, we had an array of other events throughout the weekend including open mic sessions, Irish film nights and Irish Language taster workshops, all of which saw hundreds of people walk through our doors.

10,900 people attended events managed by the LICC – and a further 8,000 people attended events supported by the LICC.

104 students

Expanding the Culture Team

attended Irish Language courses.

It was identified in 2016 that the charity’s Communications and Marketing needed to be resourced. This function was managed by the Culture Team previously. Having more resource in the charity to increase online activity as well as promoting the services of the charity would allow the Culture team to increase activity.

118 students attended Irish Music & Dance classes in 16/17.

The LIC supported 442 other Irish Cultural events in 16/17 with free or subsidised space.

87% of our attendees

It was also identified that the role of the Events Officer needed to grow to keep up with the demand for Irish cultural work in London. Therefore, the Events Officer role changed to Arts & Culture Manager to encompass the breadth of work delivered by the Arts & Culture team.

rated our events very good to excellent.

100+ events The London Irish Centre Culture Team programmed and ran over 100 Irish Culture events including classes in 16/17. 14

LIC Annual Report 16_17_Layout 1 10/05/2018 12:36 Page 16

Sell out gigs

Music from Ireland

In June 2017 we launched a brand new series of ‘Music from Ireland’ showcase gigs, which included Rusangano Family, Talos and Jealous of the Birds. This exciting new series showcases the very best in new music from Ireland, and invites leading London music industry as well as a general London music-loving audience. We received brilliant feedback from both the invited industry, as well as the Artists who performed, who benefitted and made new relationships because of our event. This series is planned to continue into 17/18.

The London Irish Centre held a string of sell out events in 16/17, including comedian Pat Shortt, Sharon Shannon, KILA, Sean Keane and many more. The growth of events at the London Irish Centre has meant that hundreds of more people are being exposed to Irish culture in London as well as increasing footfall in our venue.

London Irish Library During 16/17, the library has gone from strength to strength with a current membership of over 150 patrons and 6,500 book items in stock as well as DVD’s and CD’s. One of our key developments during the year has been the incorporation of regular group visits including the Irish Playgroup and Mind Yourself, the latter enjoying book-based activities on a monthly basis. We have also been involved in one-off events where we were able to offer a ‘pop-up’ library service.

Thompson -McCormack and Frances Dowling which will double the number of volunteers wishing to work in the library. Donations keep on coming in almost bringing the library to saturation point. The original estimate of stock hovers around 10,000 and given that we have a shelving capacity of possible 7,000, the scale of the operation becomes apparent. Going forward, we are looking to augment our volunteer base, which will double the number of volunteers wishing to work in the library.

Each of our key volunteers has a speciality which works well within a team structure, our library wouldn’t be such a success without William Gosling, Claire Sturley and James Ryan. Going forward, we are looking to augment our volunteer base with the addition of Marie Dunne, Gerry Power, Anton 15

LIC Annual Report 16_17_Layout 1 10/05/2018 12:37 Page 17


Our Staff Team Angela O` Sullivan - Advice and Outreach Officer Ashley Harmon – Team Leader Carole Fox – Wellbeing Officer Caroline Hanks – Befriending Coordinator Cath Coleman - Advice and Outreach Officer Caitriona Carney – Director of Community Services Clara Browne - Advice and Outreach Officer Dane Buckley – Wellbeing Manager Frances Whelan - Advice and Outreach Officer Gary Dunne – Director of Culture Hannah Pender – Arts and Culture Manager Jack Field – Facilities Jen Thompson – Volunteer Coordinator Kim Jackson – Operations Manager Marcella Doyle - Advice and Outreach Officer Margaret Kiely – Reception Administrator Maria Connolly – Wellbeing Officer Mary Gleeson - Advice and Outreach Officer Mo Draper - Advice and Outreach Officer Sean Kennedy - CEO Tracy Kemp – Cook

Sliced Events The year has been a great success for Sliced Events and the London Irish Centre, March is always our biggest month, with several large dinner dance events including the Big Night Out, as well as St Patrick’s weekend, the highlight of which was a fantastic gig by Irish band Kila. Two large commercial boxing nights further boosted our commercial sales where record bar sales were reached, then exceeded. The events business continued into April where we hosted Wapping Hockey Club’s annual dinner and awards night for the second year, and into May where we again hosted a successful exam season with the Royal College of Vets, The School of Oriental & African Studies University of London, Royal College of Surgeons, and the Royal College of Ophthalmologists amongst others. June continued the strong business theme with weddings and more boxing events. July is traditionally a quiet period of the year, however greater involvement in the Camden Fringe Festival saw us reach record sales for August.

Our Volunteers Jane Austin, Cathy Berrie, Melanie Black, Michael Bourke, Katie Brown, Anne Campbell, Nicola Carthy, Bobby Cashman, Mike Caulfield, Gina Cavalzani, David Claxton, Sue Collins, Fiona Cronin, Annamarie Cumiskey, Rory Cunningham, Anne Curtis, Niamh Doyle, Noleen Duncan, John Dunne, Marie Dunne, Nicola Dunne, Deirdre Durkin, Jamie Fahy, Marian Faith-Fraser, Bridget Gallagher, Susan Gallivan, Bea Gaunt, John Giltenan, Mary Groarke, Rosaleen Haddow, Ashley Harmon, Maeve Heath, Anna-Marie Henderson, Emer Kelly, Muireann Kelly, Clare Killeen, Ciara Lancaster, James Lane, Kathryn Lillis, Niamh Linehan, Alan Locke, Virginia Loftus, Siobhan Lynch, Linda Markey, Marge Martin, Kevin McCann, Ryan McCann, Mary McDonagh, Fiona McEvoy, Clive Macrory, Marie McDonald, Matt McGonagle, Christine McGrath, Anne McMahon, Eileen McMahon, Terry Messenger, Sr. Brid Miley, Denise Molloy, Margaret Morley, Heidi Murphy, Ise Murphy, Jonathan Newbold, Karen O’Brien, Sean O'Brien, Erin O’Connor, Patrick O'Driscoll, Sarah O’Herlihy. Nicola Quinn, Fiona Rae, Iria Rio, Kate Ryan, Kimberley Seabrook, Maureen Stanley, Claire Sturley, Angela Sullivan, Michael Taylor and Caoife Wilkinson.

September saw the return of good commercial business and a sell-out “Audience with Graham Linehan”, an event organised by Sliced Events’ own Sam Hooper. For September 2018 she has lined up Maria Doyle Kennedy for a similar evening. “Steady business continued throughout October and November and December topped off a great year.

Our Board Alex O’Cinneide – Development Committee Dermot Murphy – Chair and Welfare Committee Ian McKim – Audit Committee Lyndsey Drea – Audit Committee Mary Kerrigan – Audit Committee Nyall Jacobs – Treasurer and Finance Committee Paddy Cowan – Trustee Philomena Cullen – Welfare Committee Professor Mary Hickman – Culture Committee 16

LIC Annual Report 16_17_Layout 1 10/05/2018 12:37 Page 18





2015-16 (18 months)



Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade; Emigrant Support Programme



Direct Charitable Expenditure



Support and Governance Costs






















Total Resources Expended Net Incoming Resources Balances Carried Forward

BALANCE SHEET Fixed Assets Debtors Cash in Bank Creditors Net Current Assets Total Assets less Liabilities



Individual Donations



Fundraising Events



Recurring Donations



Total Fundraising




PRINCIPLE FUNDERS The Benevolent Society of St Patrick






LIC Annual Report 16_17_Layout 1 10/05/2018 12:37 Page 19

INCOME GENERATION The charity’s strategy is to create multiple streams of income in order to fund current services and allow the charity to plan for stability and growth.

Grant Income Our largest grant is given by Ireland`s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade`s Emigrant Support Programme (ESP). This grant totalled £375,800 for the period 1/7/17 to 30/6/18 and is granted to support our work in four areas: Advice and Outreach; Elders Wellbeing Services; Culture & Arts and Holistic Organisation. This support is crucial for the continuation of the work in these projects and we are deeply grateful for the long standing support of the Irish Government.

Other Grants • • • • • •

Culture Ireland Irish Youth Foundation The Benevolent Society of St Patrick Transform Foundation Impact Management Programme The Cranfield Trust

Building Income During the year we added in additional letting space and were delighted to welcome new tenants MediaSpace; C O’Meara; J Dunne as well as further letting to Shinji Shumeikai. We received £277,328 in rent plus additional contributions towards services. Parts of the building date back to the 1850’s and requires regular and expensive maintenance and improvements however we are pleased the building continues to be a major net contributor to our charitable projects.

Trading Income Our cultural, education, day centre, social groups and other items take place throughout the year from sell-out concerts with major artists like Kila and Sharon Shannon to our regular lunch clubs and TeaDances. This year these activities brought in £114,772 and we see potential to drive income growth in these areas as well as though the introduction of a physical `shop` and online trading.


LIC Annual Report 16_17_Layout 1 10/05/2018 12:37 Page 20


Big Night Out

Christmas Appeal

The first Friday in March is now established in the London Irish diary as the ‘Big Night Out’ and BNO4 was a great success. We were delighted to have Powerday as headline sponsors and we grossed £80,500 for the event.

Our 2017 Appeal was a huge success and a testament to the generosity of the Irish in London and in Ireland as well as the wider community. Over the course of December, we raised £17,500 for our work with the most vulnerable and isolated in our community. One of our generous donors commented, “You do amazing work and thank you for reminding me of the need that is still out there. It is so easy to forget when everyone is so busy getting on with their own life.”

The BNO was organised by Anna Brennan of Little Miss Events and compered by Sarah Duffy with Ambassador and Mrs Mulhall attending. Our Patron Dermot O’Leary welcomed guests with a very moving speech. The evening was themed around ‘gastronomy’ and we were thrilled to have Dave Scott, Head Chef of Scott`s of Mayfair oversee the menu and meal.

Donors and Friends

SPONSORS: Powerday – our Event Sponsors The Irish World – our Brochure Sponsor O’Donovan Waste – our Table Centre Sponsor Clonakilty Black Pudding – our Starter Sponsor J. Coffey Construction – our Main Course Sponsor WheyHey Icecream – our Dessert Sponsor Eat17 & Ballymaloe Relish – our Cheese Course Sponsors

Donations came to £52,547 a significant increase on our last period and we give thanks to all of you who support us. We would also wish to acknowledge those anonymous donations received, we can`t do this publically but please know we really appreciate these donations.


• • • • • •

We received a number of significant donations during the year:

Avondale Construction, Bowercross Construction Ltd, CBW Dynamic Accounting, Innisfree, Simon Clarke Letting Agency, The McGrath Group, Doran Vineyards, J Coffey Construction, Media Spaces, Sliced Events.

Bridget English (deceased) Mary Regan (deceased) John Kennedy (deceased) Finbar Burke Margaret Burke (Honorary Life Member) John Griffin

We would also like to thanks Jim Fitzpatrick for his donation of art which was used to raise money and a special thanks to Michael Mc Loughlin who completed a very arduous cycle ride from London to Antwerp in memory of this parents and raised £3,000 in the process. Friends of the London Irish Centre

OUR LIVE AUCTION DONORS: Ed Sheeran, Edwin Doran, Glen Hansard, McGrath Group, Philip Treacy, The Doyle Collection.

OUR SILENT AUCTION DONORS: Aer Lingus, Angela Scanlon, Blossoms Healthcare, Bord Bia, Car Trawler, Cara Stationary, Claydon Dental, Corrigans Restaurant, Dermot O'Leary, Doran Vineyards, Enterkine House Hotel, Four Seasons Fairways, Harley Street Face & Skin, Harvey's Point, Jacqui R Hair, Beauty and Wellness, Jim and Mary Quinn, Jim McGarry, Just Swim, Kathleen Farren, Nutrition Coach, Liverpool FC, London City Physiotherapy, London Irish Rugby, Munster Rugby , Sahara Force India Formula One, Sam Coll, Rory Gleeson and Louise O'Neill, Simon Calder, Tamara Beauty, The Barbican, The IRFU, The Rotunda Restaurant, The Royal Crescent Hotel & Spa, WheyHey ice cream, Wood Farms Pigs.

Friends of the London Irish Centre We have 65 Platinum, Gold, Silver and Bronze Category Friends who all contribute on a monthly basis. This type of regular donating helps us enormously in planning our services and budgets through the year. We truly appreciate our Friends. If you would like to find out more, please go to https://www.londonirishcentre.org/Appeal/friends


LIC Annual Report 16_17_Layout 1 10/05/2018 12:30 Page 1

LONDON IRISH CENTRE 50-52 Camden Square London NW1 9XB T: 020 7916 2222 info@londonirishcentre.org CLOSEST TUBE: Camden Town (Northern Line) CLOSEST TRAIN: Camden Road (Overground) PARKING: Metered parking available directly outside BUSES: The 29, 253, 274 (Murray Street Stop)

OPENING HOURS (Advice drop in)

MONDAY Morning: Emergency drop in Afternoon: Pre-booked appointments TUESDAY Morning: 9.30 – 12.30 drop in Afternoon: 2pm – 4pm drop in

WEDNESDAY Morning: CLOSED Afternoon: Pre-booked appointments THURSDAY Morning: Pre-booked appointments Afternoon: 2pm – 4pm drop in FRIDAY Morning: 9.30 – 12.30 drop in Afternoon: CLOSED

LONDON IRISH CENTRE CHARITY 50-52 Camden Square London NW1 9XB T: 020 7916 2222 info@londonirishcentre.org @LDNIrishCentre


www.londonirishcentre.org London Irish Centre Charity is both a Registered Charity No. 1149787 and an Irish Community Centre.

Profile for London Irish Centre

London Irish Centre annual report 2016 - 2017  

London Irish Centre annual report 2016 - 2017