Dear Friends,

The London Irish Centre charity supports the most isolated and vulnerable in our community, 365 days of the year but Christmas can be an especially lonely and sad time for many.

During this period, we will be running advice and welfare clinics 5 days a week, plus offering support and assistance by telephone and online. We will also run four major social events in Camden for our older clients for whom the Centre is a lifeline as well as our regular lunch club, and five other social clubs across London.

In total we will serve over 1000 hot meals this month as well as run a number of other small projects which often don’t receive a lot of publicity like our Lost Contact service where we help to reunite families who have lost contact; our Clothes Store, Crisis Kits and Shower facilities for Rough Sleepers and the homeless and our Befriending Service which matches up volunteers with older Irish who have become isolated.

We will be organising our annual hamper drive and we will be giving out close to 100 large hampers of food around London to make sure the older clients that will be on their own over the holiday period or those do not have enough food, will be able to enjoy Christmas. Around this time, we also distribute toys to the young children of our service users who might not have any gifts this year.

Bearing in mind that 40% of adults have less than £500 in savings it is very easy to slip into crisis.  Let me give you three example of how a donation can make a huge difference…

What difference does £25 make? Ask Tom*

Tom has mental health issues and his identification papers including his passport. He was unable to access benefits as he was not able to prove his ID. He came to us for assistance and we were able to very quickly get a replacement birth certificate. He was then reinstated onto disability benefit and was able to resume eating properly and taking proper care of himself.

What difference would £250 make Ask Steve and Claire * and their 4 young kids.

Steve has MS and his health had really deteriorated. Wife Claire had to stop working to become his full time carer. The household income went from 2 salaries to no income at all - at this point their cooker broke down. Our outreach worker supported them to apply for their entitlements (Housing Benefit, ESA, PIP, Carer's allowance) and we assisted them to buy them a new cooker so they could continue to cook healthy nutritious family meals.

What difference would £500 make? Ask John*

In April John suffered a great loss, his lifetime companion Mary died from cancer. 5 days after the funeral his house burnt down. You know that question what three things would you save if your house burned down…he lost every single thing. He was homeless and destitute. We provided a grant for emergency accommodation and during that time Denise our outreach worker managed to secure more permanent accommodation for John, and continues to support him now he is trying to get his life back on track. 

Thank you to everyone who has supported us so far and any help you can give will be greatly appreciated. I hope you have a wonderful Christmas and 2019. 

Warmest regards, Sean Kennedy, CEO

*Names have been changed for privacy*