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“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.” Dermot O’Leary, London Irish Centre charity Patron

“My Irish heritage is something of which I’ve always been proud of, so this concert feels like a natural fit. I love what the London Irish Centre charity do in terms of being at the heart of championing Irish culture and community in London, and their plans are really exciting.” Ed Sheeran, London Irish Centre charity Patron


CARE CULTURE COMMUNITY Welcome to the London Irish Centre charity Annual Report. 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. 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. 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 fastgrowing. 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. 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.


This Annual Report covers the period from October 2017 to September 2018. A very exciting and productive 12 months for the charity where we welcomed the world’s biggest selling recording artist Ed Sheeran, became the first building in the world to ‘go green’ for St. Patricks and hosted a fabulous 100th birthday lunch for Mary Talbot. We continued our strategic focus on Impact, Income and Innovation and measuring and managing the LICC’s impact has been a central theme throughout the year. We began by formalising an organisational Theory of Change, defining what we understand is the long term impact (or change) we bring about through the various projects we deliver. Later we moved onto agreeing what and how we would measure outputs and outcomes and have developed various tools and reports. Our aim is to implement dynamic impact management where outputs and outcomes are recorded in real time and publicly available on our website. This year we supported just over 2,000 clients through our Community Services projects (Advice & Outreach; Wellbeing Services and Befriending), carrying out more than 3,000 client sessions, in addition to the many thousands of online and phone enquiries we dealt with. We recovered £1.7m in welfare and benefit entitlements and disbursed £40,000 in small crisis grants via the BSOSP and the IYF funds. We served just under 4,000 hot meals and held over 500 health, social and fitness events for older clients. 19,000 people attended a wonderfully varied arts and cultural programme of music, educations, gigs and debates. 438 artists performed during the year and we provided £52,000 worth of discounted space to the community. We were also delighted to see the Irish language programme grow with 135 daltaí attending beginners and intermediate classes and equally delighted our online community has now grown past 55,000. Through 2018 our culture team delivered a world-class,

community-rooted programme, as part of the Culture Ireland GB2018 programme of Irish arts in GB. Last year we were very pleased to report a small cash surplus (excluding depreciation and revaluation) after 5 years of sustained deficits. This year the financial recovery continued and we achieved a £269,744 surplus or, on a like-for-like basis, £63,924. As the LICC does not yet have a dedicated fundraising team responsibility has devolved across the whole organisation and it is gratifying to see a culture develop where each member of staff feels in some way responsible for income generation. We have been developing a strategy of building ‘multiple streams of income’ from small scale initiatives like collection boxes to major fundraisers like our Big Night Out and the Dermot O’Leary/Ed Sheeran gig. Innovation was the third strategic pillar and we have been adding and improving our website, social media and comms, our business processes and income generation with new initiatives like An Siopa. We also added capacity and services when we merged our Day Service activities with Mind Yourself, in April 2018. Taking over Mind Yourself’s activities has been a great success and an endorsement of the decision made by the Mind Yourself and LICC boards. Together with our venue partners Sliced Events we have continued to invest in the physical structure of the Centre and are looking forward to bringing to fruition our long-term plan to create a world class community and cultural Centre...which happens to be Irish. I am deeply grateful to everyone who helped to make 2017/18 a success: our wonderful staff team, the 150 volunteers who assisted us and all who help us financially through grants, sponsorship, fundraising and donations. If you would like to assist our work or get involved with the LICC please do contact me. Seán Kennedy, CEO seankennedy@londonirishcentre.org


It has been an honour to serve as Chair during this pivotal time for the charity. While the team have been successfully implementing the strategy of impact, income and innovation, the board, senior management and advisors have focused on developing a longer term vision and plan for the Centre. Much of the year was devoted to analysing the challenges facing the organisation, assessing future need and agreeing on a transformative development to create a world class community and cultural Centre which will serve the needs of the Irish in London as well our local communities, and those with an interest and affinity to Ireland. The project got off to a flying start with the Dermot O’Leary/Ed Sheeran fundraiser in June, which grossed over £350,000 and provided the seed money for the project. We have now developed a strong case for support, a strategic fundraising plan and are working with Aleron on building a sustainable business model. While the delivery of this long-term plan will demand focus and attention, it is important we continue to deliver on our mission of providing outstanding Irish care, culture and community in London. I am pleased to see the increase in impact being delivered by our hard working and dedicated team, which has now grown to 25. Their commitment and support throughout the year has been exceptional. I have the pleasure of thanking an increasing number of grant funders, in particular the Irish Government’s Emigrant Support Programme, funded through the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade as well as Culture Ireland, the Benovolent Society of St Patrick, Trust for London, the Irish Youth Foundation, the Impact Management Programme, the Irish Episcopal Council for Emigrants, the Rank Foundation, the Irish Funds Great Britain, City Bridge Trust and Awards for All. We were also delighted to receive continued support from Innisfree Housing and the Beara Association and to benefit from the generosity of the Crossan Family Foundation.

We have been aided through the year by over 150 volunteers including those who assist on our events, culture, welfare and building committees and a special thanks to those who provided a wide range of invaluable pro-bono support: Garrett Hayes/Paul Hastings LLP; Caroline Glacken/Constantine Law; Noel O’Dwyer/ MHBC; Peter Halpenny; John Connolly/USB; Jim Foster/ TimeLine Consulting, James Sweeney Law Firm/Dublin, Pat Mc Grath/Quinn London, Mark & Philip Fitzpatrick/ Fitzpatrick Team, Richard Corrigan/Corrigan’s Mayfair, Matt Ballantine/Stamp London, Adrian Brady/Eulogy and Damian Cullen. My thanks and appreciation go to all of my colleagues on the board of trustees who have supported me and to Professor Mary Hickman and Philomena Cullen who stepped down as trustees. A special thanks is due to my predecessor Dermot Murphy who served the charity and community, directly as Chair and Trustee and indirectly through his involvement with the Irish Charitable Trust for over 10 years. We are deeply grateful to our Patrons Dermot O’Leary and Ed Sheeran as well as our Ambassador group including Angela Scanlon, Laura Whitmore and Jarleth Regan for their invaluable assistance.

As part of my ongoing commitment to the preservation of local cultural venues I’m delighted to offer my wholehearted support to the plans to regenerate the London Irish Centre over the coming years and the creation of a new cultural bridge between London and Ireland. Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London June 2018, LIC

Finally, my congratulations to Jim Quinn, who was awarded Honorary Life Membership. Jim spent over 10 years as Trustee and Treasurer and has continued to tirelessly fundraise, promote and advocate for the charity. To Jim and the many hundreds who help us achieve our mission, go raibh mile mile maith agaibh. Professor Fiona Nolan, Interim Chair


AN EVENING WITH DERMOT O’LEARY & ED SHEERAN June 19th marked one of the biggest ever dates in the London Irish Centre’s calendar. The charity held its biggest fundraiser to date ‘An evening with Dermot O’Leary and Ed Sheeran’. Our charity Patron, Dermot, has been a supporter of the Centre for some time now, and we were thrilled to work with him on this once-in-a-lifetime event, delivered to an intimate crowd of just 400 people. The event featured very special musical guests such as Andy Irvine, Luke Concannon and an exclusive afterparty with superstar DJs Annie Mac and Sara Cox. Celebrity guests on the night included Courtney Cox,

MIND YOURSELF ACTIVITIES MOVE TO THE LONDON IRISH CENTRE Mind Yourself, the Holloway-based charity which has supported the health and well-being of Irish people in London since 2012, closed as a charity in late March due to a lack of sustainable funding.

Dara O’Briain and Laura Whitmore. We worked closely with comms specialists Eulogy, who supported our Comms team in the lead up to and on the night of the event. The event was generously supported by sponsors including Saville AV, O’Donovan Waste, Tourism Ireland with support from Culture Ireland, Bord Bia and the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Catering on the night was created and sponsored by legendary chef Richard Corrigan. The event net over £280,000 to kick-start our Capital Campaign and support our development project.

The London Irish Centre charity was delighted to take over the Mind Yourself activities calendar. Through the support of the Emigrant Support Programme, the London Irish Centre agreed to support Mind Yourself’s innovative activities programme. This also included a new role on the team for a ‘Health Navigator’, former Mind Yourself employee Ruth Melican moved over to LICC with a large client base and an optimistic group of weekly service users.

“This place has helped me a lot, I don’t know what I’d have done without a place like this to come to.”


£10,000 RAISED FOR LICC AT ALL-STAR RUGBY EVENT The London Irish Centre charity’s first rugby all-star fundraising event last October was a huge success, raising an incredible £10,000 for the charity on the night. Our three rugby all-stars included former Leinster stars Gordon D’Arcy and Luke Fitzgerald and former Munster star David Wallace. Our brilliant MC on the night was Irish stand-up comedian Jarlath Regan - creator of the award-winning Irishman Abroad podcast!

Mary Talbot, born in 1918 at the end of World War One, marked the centenary celebrations surrounded by friends and family at her ‘home away from home’ in the London Irish Centre’s Luncheon Club this August. Originally from Co. Galway, Mary emigrated to London at the tender age of 18 and became a nurse, aiding soldiers rescued from Dunkirk during World War Two. Mary is well-known and loved by the local Camden community for her time spent as a dinner lady and then a teaching assistant at Our Lady’s Catholic Primary school.

We couldn’t have done this without the support of our committee members, volunteers and of course, our All-Stars but making the night a huge success were our Sponsors including Tourism Ireland, CityJet, The Doyle Collection and O’Donovan Waste to name but a few.

HANWELL SOCIAL GROUP CELEBRATE 10 YEAR ANNIVERSARY The Hanwell social group, the longest running of our five social groups across London celebrated its 10-yearanniversary in April. The group has become a ‘home away from home’ for the older Irish generation in West London. The over 55’s group, which meet every Monday afternoon, has become a place for the older generation to stay connected to their roots. They have a cup of tea and a chat, play bingo and run popular wellbeing exercise classes. For what started as a group in Ealing Town Hall, has become a ‘lifeline’ for a community in West London over the last decade. Finnie Savage, who lost her husband 5 years ago, said:

In her later years, when she retired from work, Mary was encouraged by friends to return to the London Irish Centre to be part of the Day Centre’s Luncheon Club. “The London Irish Centre has been such an inspiration for mum,” said her daughter Nina, “after our father died at just 75, she went up for the company and hasn’t stopped going ever since.” Mary is one of the London Irish Centre’s longest members, coming to the LIC’s Day Centre for almost 30-years.

If my mum hadn’t gone to the Irish Centre, I don’t know how different her life would have been. She wouldn’t have achieved in her older life, what she’s achieved.”


The LICC provides specialist accredited advice and culturally sensitive support and assistance on a wide range of welfare issues to vulnerable Irish people of all ages. Our workers provide initial full assessments, short intervention advice and longer-term case work. We advise clients about the UK benefits system, Irish pensions, debt, housing, rough sleeping, substance misuse and physical health and other issues.

We also provide crisis interventions such as meals, clothing, travel and food vouchers and are often the only source of support for our clients. Support is delivered through advice, referral, advocacy and representation. We provide face-to-face advice on-site at our Camden office, and at satellite surgeries in West London and Kilburn. We provide outreach visits, telephone and email advice to those who are unable to make it to one of our offices.

THE ADVICE & OUTREACH SERVICE OUTCOMES Improve financial position Prevent homelessness and ensuring access to appropriate housing Enhance physical and mental wellbeing Foster connection to the Irish Community Support independence and enhance quality of life

2884 1361 Individual clients

202 2559

Oneto-one sessions


Email advice Telephone advice



In financial entitlements for clients

Distributed in crisis grants

Success rate at overturning DWP decision at welfare benefits tribunals

‘FROM CAMDEN TO THE KINGDOM’ WITH THE FREEBIRD CLUB In February 2018, we facilitated a trip to Kerry in collaboration with The Freebird Club. A group of 10 over50s from the LICC went on a trip to Kerry and stayed with ‘hosts’ there. The 10 people who travelled were all either Irish-born or Irish-descent, and some had not been back to Ireland for many years. Over the course of the weekend, the group went for a walk through the Gap of Dunloe, had a tour of Muckross House and enjoyed food and hospitality in Killorglin, Kenmare and Killarney, as well as a few late night seisiúns!


Council for Emigrants and she is based in Quex Road (Kilburn), Camden and outreach in the community. Denise has developed the service over time and established good working relationships with many hardto-reach clients.

PUB OUTREACH Last year, we launched our pub outreach service to engage with hard-to-reach clients in the community, many of whom were older men. Our Advice worker Cath conducts pub outreach sessions every month with the support of pub landlords. This gives hard-to-reach clients an opportunity to link into the service, find out what we can offer, and establish trust with the worker in an environment they feel comfortable in. We have found that once the trust has been established, these clients will then come to the Centre and engage with the service.


In December 2017 we drove all around North London delivering hampers to our elderly and isolated clients. It was lovely to visit people, spend time with them, and give them a hamper filled with both practical and luxury food. We also gave food and toy hampers to a number of families we work with. Many of the clients we delivered hampers to, spend Christmas alone every year and said that the hamper was the only gift they received.

TEAM DEVELOPMENTS In March 2017, we welcomed our new advice and outreach worker Gemma Kingston. Gemma, who is from West Cork, works in Camden and West London and has developed our new West London Satellite office. In April 2017, we welcomed another new advice worker Denise Kidd. Denise’s post is funded by Irish Episcopal

“Sarah*, 28, presented to our drop-in service in Camden with her 7-year-old daughter Belle* in a distressed state as they were homeless with no money after fleeing domestic abuse in Ireland. We immediately liaised with the council housing team and they were placed in safe accommodation that night. We then supported Sarah to apply for benefits and used the Irish Youth Foundation crisis grant to get some essential items as they had very little with them. We also signposted Sarah to specialist service Solace Women’s Aid, and continued to support her as she settled in London.”

WELLBEING SERVICE SEIRBHÍS SLÁINTE The Wellbeing Service was set up to reduce isolation and improve the emotional and social wellbeing of the Irish Community in London. The Wellbeing Service consists of the Day Centre, Mind Yourself activities, Social Groups and Tea Dances. A lot of the clients who attend these services are migrants who came to London in the 1950s and 60s and used the London Irish Centre as a place to connect with their community. Now in a different stage of their lives, the Centre continues to play a vital role. With many of these clients living alone, it serves as a crucial support network and helps to prevent social isolation.

DAY CENTRE The Day Centre is located in the Kennedy Hall at the London Irish Centre. It aims to provide a safe setting for people to socialise within their own community, maintain their independence, rebuild their social networks and improve their mental health through a range of activities and outings. It runs a Social Group five days a week with a Lunch Club on three of those days, where clients can access nutritious and comforting home cooked meals.

on the small train along the mile-long pier. Some of the clients took the opportunity to visit the shops or to simply sit, watch the waves and enjoy an ice cream. On the journey down the clients enjoyed singing along to Irish music as the buses travelled in convoy.


SOCIAL GROUPS We run Social Groups throughout London for those who are unable to travel to Camden. The groups are located in Hanwell, Hammersmith, Sutton, Ealing and Shepherd’s Bush. They have expanded since last year with the number of group activities and people increasing month to month. The groups offer refreshments and activities such as bingo and exercise. Our Theory of Change outcomes aim to: Combat loneliness and isolation felt by older adults Increase confidence levels of those who live alone Enable older people to remain independent and in their own communities for longer

DAY TRIP TO SUNNY SOUTHEND In September we brought two minibuses full of London Irish Centre Day Centre clients to Southend on Sea for the day! The sun was shining as the clients from the Day Services lunch club enjoyed a walk along the sea front, fish and chips for lunch and some of the clients enjoyed a ride

Kathleen is a regular at the London Irish Centre. She comes along to the Lunch club and takes part in activities such as art and creative writing. Kathleen said that she is very lonely and misses her country but the London Irish Centre gives her somewhere to go and the people she meets here are like family. “The London Irish Centre allows me to mix with people from my own community. In the past I stayed at home with little social contact. However, the people at the London Irish Centre are very friendly and helpful. I especially love the art group. I struggled to express myself in the past and only started art when I came here. It has been very beneficial to me. It allows me to get lost in myself and I find it very therapeutic. There’s always something new to do in the London Irish Centre. The staff are wonderful and I love coming here.”

MIND YOURSELF In March 2018 Mind Yourself, an Irish health and wellbeing charity based in Holloway, closed its doors. However, its services were taken over by the London Irish Centre, allowing its identity and community to live on. There are now a number of Mind Yourself activities on offer at the Centre, such as art, exercise, music and creative writing. There is also a Health Navigation service which assists clients to access any physical or psychological support they may need.

TRIP TO THE ISLE OF WIGHT In July, a group of Day Centre clients headed off to the Isle of Wight for a three-night stay. They were able to spend time on the town’s long stretch of golden sandy beach, enjoy a dip in the sea and visit the traditionally British pier. It was an opportunity to get away from the hustle and bustle of London and visit a part of the country that many had never been to before. The group enjoyed live music every night at the beach front hotel and other activities included bingo and singing along to Irish and country music. It was a great success and they returned to the London Irish Centre feeling refreshed and rejuvenated and with plenty of stories to tell!

CREATIVE WRITING The Mind Yourself Creative writing group has been running in the London Irish Centre since March 2018. It is a hugely popular group that encourages participants to use their lived experiences to create short pieces of fiction, non-fiction or poetry. Many attendees describe the group as a “lifeline” and say it has given them confidence they never knew they could have.

213 3883










No. of lunch club meals served

No. of tea dances



No. of lunch clubs

No. of tea dance attendances

No. of social group sessions held

No. of social group attendances

No. of Mind Yourself activities

No. of attendance at Mind Yourself activities

No. of Health Promotion Events

VOLUNTEERING OBAIR DEONACH 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 over 100 volunteers assisted our work across 25 different roles. Over the last year, our volunteers have collectively contributed an average of 290 volunteering hours a month. This year we have taken on two great new cohorts of befrienders, and increased our pool of volunteers as part of Mind Yourself’s integration into the LICC. The volunteer roles here at the Centre are constantly evolving and developing, which means that we attract committed people who possess a wide range of skills. This year we had our massive Ed Sheeran fundraiser gig. Two lucky volunteers won the opportunity to attend, and a further eight volunteers who helped out on the night also got to enjoy the once-in-a-lifetime event!

VOLUNTEERING CASE STUDY “My parents came over to Camden from rural Mayo and Co. Limerick in the 1950s. They followed older brothers and sisters who had made the journey before them. The London Irish Centre has since been a support and a backdrop for family gatherings over the years. When my dad (who is now in his eighties) started coming to the Day Centre 18 months ago, I began helping out with the lunch club, and eventually set up a popular weekly art group. I really enjoy my time with the older clients and with the art group who have produced some beautiful artwork and really grown in confidence. The London Irish Centre makes me feel that my contribution is valued and that I’m part of a big family which cares for and supports all of its members.” Linda Markey

FEEDBACK Our volunteers have the opportunity to give feedback at any time. A recent questionnaire found that of the volunteers surveyed:

96% 84%

213 64%



say they feel they are doing something useful and meaningful

believe their engagement in the local community has increased

say their mental wellbeing has improved

recommended volunteering with us


CASE STUDY – TERESA & ANGELA Teresa, originally from Limerick, became known to LICC when she phoned in looking for some help with some paperwork. Our Outreach Worker Gemma went out to visit and referred her to the Befriending Service when she realised how isolated Teresa had become following the sudden loss of her husband.

The aim of the London Irish Centre charity’s Befriending Service is to reduce social isolation, improving the emotional well-being of Irish clients. We do this by providing a culturally sensitive service to the Irish community. The Befriending service is for older Irish clients in London with low to moderate level of support needs. Clients may feel socially isolated and are not engaged with activities in the community. Clients general do not have regular personal contact with family or friends. In October 2017, the LICC relaunched its Befriending Service in conjunction with National Befriending week. We have supported 25 relationships over the past 12 months in the service. We have recruited and trained 18 new volunteers who have signed up as Befrienders.

Befriending Service Aims & Objectives: To befriend individual clients at home or in the community To provide companionship and friendship To reduce social isolation and loneliness by arranging weekly visits to provide stimulation and improve mental wellbeing To increase social connection and contact with the Irish community and cultural services

We matched Teresa with Befriender Angela, originally from Co. Clare. Angela wanted to help the elderly Irish as she felt it was so important to keep up cultural connections. The pair bonded over their mutual love of charity shop browsing, a good natter and cats! Angela said: “I have to say, I honestly don’t think you could have matched me with a more suitable client and within easy reach of home. When T and I watch TV, we laugh at the same things and when we speak of Ireland, we think the very same! She’s a lovely lady and I look forward to every visit. I feel so fortunate to have the opportunity.” Teresa said: “Befriending has helped me to cope with my bereavement of my husband. I look forward to Thursday as she brightens up my day. She’s amazing she really is; I couldn’t ask for anyone better she’s so good to me you know. We get on great and think alike about Ireland. I can’t thank the LICC enough.”

outdoors, or for help accessing opportunities in the community To help the client feel happier and more independent in their situation Benefits for clients: Companionship Emotional support

To expand and enhance the client’s experience within their own community or explore and plan new experiences (if wanted by client)

Health benefits

To be flexible to meet the needs of the client: For

Learning how to relate to others

companionship, to help support people to remain safe and well in their homes, to support with walking

Using community resources and services

Self-esteem & confidence Increased social awareness




Our London Irish Library holds over 6,000 books by Irish writers or about Ireland. This extensive collection has become a brilliant cultural resource for our community, as well as a hub of activity including educational classes, writers’ groups and our playgroup. The library is still operated by a group of dedicated volunteers, led by John Dunne, and still receives generous book donations on a regular basis.

The Culture team created a string of new event series and partnerships during this period which continued throughout the year. Our new series London Irish Lectures brings together a host of diverse and engaging speakers to talk on areas of Irish social, cultural and creative interest. This series included Niall Breslin, Tara Flynn, Sinead Burke, Lorraine Maher and Theresa Hingley.

CUP – COMMUNITY USAGE PROGRAMME The Community Usage programme (CUP) was set up to support the Irish organisations that work with the London Irish Centre in a way that’s sustainable for the charity. Irish dancing, music classes and our playgroup are just some of the initiatives that benefit from the CUP. The new process ensures that we have a better understanding of cultural activity happening at the London Irish Centre and the impact of these groups work. We continue to host hundreds of subsidised events for Irish community groups, which welcome thousands of students and audience members annually.

Other new initiatives included Culture Pop Ups, Camden Market Partnership and our new Irish Film Nights in partnership with the Irish Film Institute.

EVENT HIGHLIGHTS The Culture Team hosted many sell-out and high quality events including Sharon Shannon, Kila, Sean Keane, Colin Stafford-Johnson as well as a host of new event series. We have also continued to run events in external venues to the London Irish Centre. The growth of events outside of the London Irish Centre has meant that we have been able expose Irish Culture to thousands of Irish in London.



In 2018, Culture Ireland supported a special focus of Irish artistic activity in Britain. The London Irish Centre was part of the wider GB18 initiative and presented a vibrant, contemporary and high quality programme including a range of events across artistic disciplines, building on Ireland’s special history and relationship with its nearest neighbour.

We have created one of the largest Irish language courses in London. The courses have been sold out weeks ahead of the start date, and have been getting excellent feedback from students with many continuing into the more advanced classes. Our Irish Language Course tutor, Clár Ní Shúilleabháin, continues to deliver this programme with us. In the coming year, we aim to increase our pool of tutors and course levels.

ED SHEERAN SHOWCASE In the lead up to the Dermot O’Leary and Ed Sheeran Event, we created a cultural showcase of artists to support the fundraising event. This event showcased some of the very best in new Irish talent, as well as from our local community including Loah and Tom Heath. The event was very well received by audiences, and projected an international spotlight on Irish talent here in London.

90 390 10k

LIC Culture Team managed over 90 Cultural events and classes

Supported over 390 Irish Cultural Community Events

Nearly 10,000 people engaged with Irish Cultural Events managed by the charity

After not visiting the Centre for 20 odd years, it was nice to come back and still feel at home!

AUDIENCE FEEDBACK “‘Not just a great gig but also a great atmosphere.” “Delighted with the LIC. It seems to have become much more alive and proactive recently. Great - keep it up!”

87% 135

We were rated 87% Very Good-Excellent for event quality of flagship events

135 people attended our Irish Language Courses


Sean Kennedy

Gary Dunne

Andrea Keogh

Brian Hanley

Ashley Harmon


Director of Culture

Director of Operations

Director of Community Services

Advice & Outreach Manager

Hannah Pender

Ruth Melican

Jen Thompson

Brendan Millar

Gemma Kingston

Arts & Culture Manager

Wellbeing Manager

Volunteering & Office Administrator

Events Officer

Advice & Outreach Worker

Denise Kidd

Mary Gleeson

Ciara Ward

Cath Coleman

Marcella Doyle

Advice & Outreach Worker

Advice & Outreach Worker

Health Navigator

Advice & Outreach Worker

Advice & Outreach Worker

Maria Connolly

Joe O’Driscoll

Caroline Hanks

Matthew Hall

Cheryl Barrow

Wellbeing Officer

Wellbeing Officer

Befriending Coordinator

Legal Advocate

Finance Officer

In Memory

Jennifer Purcell

Margaret Kiely

Rob Mirante

Marketing & Comms Officer

Reception Administrator

Data & Impact Officer

BOARD OF TRUSTEES Professor Fiona Nolan

Anna Doyle

Mary Kerrigan

Acting Chair

Culture Committee

Audit Committee

Mike O’Connor CBE

Tom Goddard

Ian McKim

Deputy Chair

Development Committee

Audit Committee

Alex O Cinneide

Nyall Jacobs

Development Committee

Treasurer and Finance Committee

Paddy Cowan Trustee

We were saddened to hear of the passing of Fr. Paul Byrne, in February 2019. Paul was vicar general of the Oblates order and Director of the Irish Episcopal Council for Emigrants. He was hugely influential in the fight for housing rights and better housing in the UK and was awarded the OBE for his work in 1976. He served as a Trustee at the London Irish Centre for over 10 years until 2013 and will be fondly remembered here in Camden.


2017/18 (£)

2016/17 (£)





Fundraising Events






Direct Charitable Expenditure



Fundraising Events



Support and Governance Costs







Statement of Financial Activities Total Incoming Resources of which: Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade Emmigrant Support Programme

Resources Expended

Total Resources Expended Net Incoming Resources


Realised Gain on Investments Balances Brought Forward



Balances Carried Forward











Current Liabilities



Grants Receivable



Net Assets



Balance Sheet Fixed Assets (revaluation in 2017)



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 £394,902 for the period in question and is granted to support our work in five areas: Advice and Outreach; Elders Wellbeing Services; Culture&Arts, Health Navigator 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.

The Centre continues to create substantial gross and net income which is used to fund the various projects we deliver. We received £317,274 in rent and contributions, an increase of 14.4 % on the previous year. We continue to invest heavily in the building.

OTHER GRANTS Culture Ireland Irish Youth Foundation The Benevolent Society of St Patrick Irish Episcopal Council for Emigrants Impact Management Programme

TRADING INCOME Our cultural, education, Day Centre, social groups and other items take place throughout the year from sellout concerts with major artists like Kila and Andy Irvine to our regular lunch clubs and Tea-Dances. This year these activities brought in £109,896. We opened up the Irish Shop ‘An Siopa’ and while we do not anticipate this generating substantial income in the short term we do envisage retail as a growth driver in a redeveloped Centre.

Innisfree City Bridge Trust


Rank Foundation Awards for All Irish Funds Great Britain Trust for London

Our 2017 Appeal brought in the incredible sum of £49,000, a 180% increase on 2016 and which was helped with an extremely generous donation from an anonymous donor. Helping us to help those most in need over Christmas struck a chord with donors in Britain and in Ireland. As one of our wonderful donors wrote; “I spent 20 years in London, I got lucky but I realise how difficult it can be for so many living on the edge”.


BIG NIGHT OUT The first Friday in March is now established in the London Irish Centre’s social diary as the evening of the ‘Big Night Out’ and 2018 was no different. We were delighted to have The McGrath Group as headline sponsors and we grossed £74,000 for the event.

The BNO was organised by Little Miss Events management and compered for the second year running by Sarah Duffy with Ambassador and Mrs O’Neill attending. Our live band; Chromatic had people dancing all night into the early hours.

SPONSORS: The McGrath Group – our Event Sponsors The Irish World – our Brochure Sponsor O’Donovan Waste – our Table Centre Sponsor Metro Bank – our Entertainment Sponsor

OUR SILENT AUCTION DONORS: Ann-Maria McCarthy, Avokado, Barbara Stanley Gallery, Bord Bia, Cara Stationery, Caroline McLaughlin, Ciara O’Keefe Design, Denbies Wine Estate, Denise Cassidy and Mr John Delaney, Dermot O’Leary, Doran Vineyards, Fairways Portugal, Gerry Keany, Huseyin Ozer at Sofra, Jim Quinn, Josie McGeady, London City Physiotherapy, Look Mum No Hands!, Mick Sills, Munster Rugby, O’Kane Irish Foods, Olwen Bourke, Rory McIlroy, Simon Calder, Tamara Beauty, Ted Baker’s Groom Room, The Avenue Cookery School, The Last Tuesday Society and The London Distillery Company

ADVERTISERS: AIB, Avondale Construction, Bowercross Construction Ltd, CBW Dynamic Accounting, Foran Construction, Innisfree Construction, The McGrath Group, Doran Vineyards, J Coffey Construction, Metro Bank, O’Donovan Waste, The Irish World and The Irish Shop OUR LIVE AUCTION DONORS: City Jet, David Nolan, Ed Sheeran, Tourism Ireland, Westbury Hotel Dublin

DONORS AND FRIENDS Donations came to £159,897. This is a substantial increase on the previous year and part of this was the generosity of our Founder Donors to the Redevelopment Project (Don O’Sullivan; Ruth Borland; Christine/Steve Maye; Danny Done; Derry Guy; Nicola Sullivan; the British & Irish Trading Alliance and Ann/Dan O’Neill). We received a number of significant donations during the year: The Crossan Family Foundation West London Irish Society Society of the Sacred Heart Beara Association/Sean Downes O’Donovan Waste Margaret Brown (Honorary Life Member) Sarah-Jane Rowe Mr D Mc Cann Chris Mc Hugh Michael Fealy Council of Irish Counties Association Jacqui O’Donovan

We would also like to thank Neal Murphy who ran the London Marathon for us (our first ever entry) and raised the fantastic total of £3200!! And a big thanks to the talented Stephen James Smith who donated the proceedings from an art project to the LICC. We would also wish to acknowledge those anonymous donations received, we can’t do this publically but please know we really appreciate these donations.

FRIENDS OF THE LONDON IRISH CENTRE We now have 95 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 appreciate enormously our Friends. If you would like to find out more please go to www.londonirishcentre.org/friends

Profile for London Irish Centre

London Irish Centre Annual Report 2017/2018  

London Irish Centre Annual Report 2017/2018