IFGB Projects Supported

Grant Round 2013

The Maya Centre

The Maya Centre is based in Islington which has a long established Irish community. It provides free, culturally appropriate, long term counselling to disadvantaged Irish women in mental distress, particularly as a result of past or present trauma or abuse. The women who the Maya Centre assists often have difficulty accessing help elsewhere and would otherwise be excluded from therapy. The Centre offers a full assessment for each woman seeking help and this is undertaken by an experienced counsellor or psychotherapist; they are then either allocated a place with a Maya Centre counsellor in the appropriate service, a place in a therapeutic group or referred to another more appropriate organisation. The Maya Centre has a long track record of providing culturally appropriate counselling to their large local population of Irish women.


“Failte” is a club that supports and empowers elderly Irish people and their relatives and carers living in Hillingdon. “Failte” prevents social isolation and promotes independence by providing a safe place where the Irish community can socialise, renew friendship and form new ones in an environment that is sensitive to their culture and provides them with the opportunity to celebrate through music, dance and storytelling. As well as offering friendship and social interaction, the club has an Irish Co-ordinator who supports access to health, housing and social care services.

Quaker Homeless Project

Quaker Homeless Action holds the Quaker Christmas Shelter every year from the 23rd to 30th December. The shelter takes up to 26 people in their overnight beds, they also serve hot ‘home-cooked’ meals to up to 100 people for dinner and breakfast. They also offer up to 30 services every year, including medical checks, a clothing store, hot showers with toiletries and clean towels and a chance to relax in a drug and alchol free environment. In addition, they run a drug and alcohol outreach service. This grant will be used to cover the costs of new clothing which is given to people who come to the shelter and includes jeans, fleeces, pants, socks, hats and scarves.

Forest Bus

Forest Bus are working with children, young people and their families, all of Irish origin, who are living on two sites in Hampshire and Dorset. The sites are situated in areas which are rurally diasdvantaged due to a lack of amenities. Some of the children are not attending school and there is little space for them to play safely. Forest Bus facilitates a range of positive play experiences for these children with the aim to allow them to develop their creativity and gain confidence from working alongside positive role models.

  Southwark Irish Pensioners Project (SIPP)

19 years ago Southwark Irish Pensioners Project set up a day service and since then it has continued to thrive. It offers a comprehensive range of activities, a meal service and advice and information in an informal and culturally sensitive environment. A community support service has developed alongside this day service which provides outreach support for their more vulnerable clients living in the community who are often isolated and some have substance use issues. In addition, SIPP has a team of volunteer befrienders and hospital visitors who strengthen and complement the work of the day and community services. This grant will help pay for the running costs of the day service.

Personal Support Unit Liverpool (PSU)

The Personal Support Unit Liverpool is a registered charity based in Liverpool Civil and Family Courts. They provide practical and emotional support to people who face court proceedings without a lawyer, these people are officially termed as "litigants in person." Their service is offered by trained volunteers, who see 90 people each month in Liverpool free of charge and without needing an appointment. The service in Liverpool started in February 2012 and has already given support to over 800 people who were going through the difficulties of legal proceedings with no legal advice. There is an urgent need for the PSU legal aid has been restricted for years and is not available in the majority of civil and family cases. Without lawyers, unrepresented litigants are at an automatic disadvantage and the vast majorities are confused and alienated by the court system.

The Irish Elderly Advice Network

The Irish Elderly Advice Network was founded in 1993 and in the years since, it has been hugely successful in empowering and supporting older Irish people, tackling isolation and providing friendship and solidarity, ensuring people have all the benefits and help they are entitled to and campaigning for changes and improvements for older Irish people. They aim to provide a comprehensive welfare rights advice service and an integrated monthly cultural social event. This grant will enable their welfare advisors to carry out more East London home visits, ensuring housebound older people have access to welfare advice, as well as helping the expansion of their Good Neighbour Scheme, which helps extremely isolated and deprived Irish people

Mind Yourself

Mind Yourself works to address health inequalities in the Irish community in London and improve well-being in the community. They provide information, advice and advocacy on health related issues for people who don't know what their entitlements are, a medical accompaniment service for those who require it as well as raising awareness of the cultural health needs and determinants of the Irish people, within the community and with policy makers/ healthcare professionals. This grant helped fund the editing and distribution of a recently completed documentary on the history of the London Irish Women's Centre and Irish women in London. This film was later voted the Top 10 Irish Movies of 2013 by the Irish Post.

The Lighthouse Club

The Lighthouse Clubs Benevolent Fund gives financial help to thousands of families plunged into financial crisis when they lose their breadwinner’s income through illness, injury or death. Their benevolence team works to assess how best we can help the families of these construction workers, providing them with financial assistance until they can get back on their feet.

Irish Arts Foundation’s Irish Elders Cultural Programme

The Irish Elders Cultural Programme is a community based programme of cultural and reminiscence activities involving music, language, literary resources, historical displays and discussion groups designed to appeal to the large number of elderly Irish people who regularly access the many day centres and/or are resident in care homes across Leeds. The ongoing programme also provides a range of perfomances and reminiscence workshops directed towards vulnerable and elderly Irish people, in collaboration with Irish community organisations and venues across Leeds. 

The Aisling Project

The Aisling Project reaches out to Irish people who are vulnerable, isolated and alone. They also provide supported holidays in Ireland for long-term emigrants, fulfilling what is for many a dream of seeing their homeland again. It also helps long-term emigrants reconnect with their families and friends and resettle in Ireland. The Aisling Project offers a friendly supportive service in an environment that encourages self-worth and personal development, while building trust in order to develop future support and continuing friendship. 

BeLonG To

BeLonG To is a national, Irish organisation for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgendered (LGBT) young people, aged between 14 and 23. Their mission is to provide safe and fun services to LGBT young people across Ireland, which facilitate them through exploration, development and growth, enable them to access their rights as equal citizens, and empower then to participate as agents in positive social change. They also provide advocacy and a campaigning voice so that society respects LGBT young people as full and valued members.

Grant Round 2012

St John’s Ward Crumlin as part of The Aisling Appeal

The Aisling Appeal was launched in the summer of 2012 by Ruairi Conneely. Ruairi is a trustee of IFGB and the Aisling Appeal is in memory of his niece Aisling. Aisling tragically died at age 14 from a rare form of cervical cancer. So far, the Aisling Appeal has raised £25,000 of its £100,000 target. Money raised from the Aisling Appeal goes to St John's Ward at Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital, Crumlin, where Aisling was treated. The extension and refurbishment of St John's Ward will provide 21 ensuite rooms; a new bone marrow transplant unit and some much needed leisure space for the children and teenagers being treated at the hospital.

Harringey Irish Pensioners
This dynamic group of Irish pensioners was established almost 20 years ago. They are a social voluntary organisation working towards alleviating loneliness and improving the quality of life of Irish pensioners. They cater for over three hundred elderly members, many of whom and vulnerable and suffer from loneliness. Members are able to use the services of lunch clubs, tea dances and seaside trips all thanks to Harringey Irish Pensioners.  

Emerald Circle Club
The Emerald Circle Club was set up in 2002 and it is run for and by Irish pensioners in a room off St Joseph's Church in Harrow. There are currently around 45 members, most of whom are over 70, who meet once a week. The Emerald Circle Club provides members with reminiscing sessions, Keep Fit classes, bingo, quizzes and monthly outings. Without the weekly social interaction provided by the Emerald Circle Club many of its members would remain lonely and isolated.

Coventry Irish Society
The Coventry Irish Society provides social support to Irish survivors of institutional abuse, by combating social isolation amongst survivors and improve their health and well being by allowing them opportunities to socialise and connect with those who have had a similar experience. They help ensure that vulnerable Irish people have access to necessary services and receive appropriate entitlements. They also maintain a cultural presence for the Irish community in the area. This grant will help with lunch clubs and day trips for its members.

Federation of Irish Societies
The Federation of Irish Societies (FIS) is a national umbrella organisation established in 1973, which draws together Irish clubs and societies in Britain. They help to promote, represent and connect the Irish Community. IFGB have FIS this grant to help with their Dementia Care Campaign. This campaign was launched when 38 of their members currently run lunch club and approximately 50% of volunteer led lunch clubs have cited dementia as an increasing issue amongst their customers and almost the entire lunch club groups have stated that they would benefit from and engage with workshops on dementia. The campaign has been set up to train volunteers in how to address the ‘stigma’ associated with memory loss, the value of early diagnosis, identifying symptoms, referring and  supporting individuals and carers through the assessment. This will result is better care for suffers of dementia and in increased support for families and carers affected by memory loss. The grant will help to pay for training sessions including trainer, training materials, travel and food.

Irish in Birmingham
Irish in Birmingham is the leading charity providing welfare and cultural services to the Irish community in the Midlands. Their aim is to enhance the lives of people with Irish heritage by providing quality advice and support services that meet the welfare and cultural needs of the Irish Community in Birmingham. They promote Irish heritage and culture through a range of actives and events. This grant will help their support their Bereavement Service which will be available to anyone following a personal bereavement who is seeking practical or emotional support

Irish Community Services and £7,000 to Irish in Greenwich
Irish Community Services (formally Irish in Greenwich) was created in 1984. They work in four east London boroughs and provide elder outreach services, careers support services with a volunteer respite project and a Happy Days cafe for clients with Dementia and their careers. As part of the elder’s project they have five popular Irish Event Lunch Clubs. They help support a range of issues including welfare and disability benefits, homelessness, housing, travellers’ issues, unemployment and debt. This grant will go towards a new service helping young Irish traveler women. Many of these women have literacy problems and often they are fleeing domestic violence or family breakdown. Irish Community Services support them through temporary accommodation, benefits applications and find schools for the children, liaising with staff to ensure that the needs of the family are understood and met.

Womens’ Survivors Group
The Irish Women Survivors Support Network was created to help female survivors of institutional abuse, who now live in the UK. The group seeks to empower these women through information and the support of other women who have had similar experiences.

Southwark Irish Pensioners
The Southwark Irish Pensioners Project provides a vital lifeline to hundreds of elderly vulnerable and isolated Irish people living in Southwark – one of the most deprived boroughs in London. The Southwark Irish Pensioners Project has recently had a drop in their funding due to cuts made by the council. The Ireland Fund of Great Britain was delighted to be in a position to help support them by donating £10,000 due to the wonderful work they do in both their centre and in their outreach work. They support 422 pensioners by providing a comprehensive mix of services ranging from nutritious meals and befriending, to hospital visits and benefits advice

Justice for Magdelenes
Justice for Magdalene’s seeks to promote and represent the interests of the Magdalene women, formerly incarcerated in Magdalene Laundries and to seek the establishment and improvements of supports as well as advisory and re-integration series provided for survivors. Since its foundation 10 years ago, Justice for Magdalene’s has had a survivor centred ethos at its core. The recent grant of £7,000 that we were able to present to Justice for Magdalene’s will enable them to cover expenses associated with their final push to the UN Committee Against Torture process, to gather and print testimonies and to perform further research in order to assist the Inter-Departmental Committee’s inquiries into state interaction with the Laundries. Countless women have been affected by the Magdalene Laundries which is why Justice for Magdalene’s is vital for a voice, recognition and justice for those women whether alive or dead.

St John Bosco Youth Club
St. John’s Bosco Youth Club was founded in 1969 and has been working in the deprived area of Tower Hamlets, East London ever since. The club, which is managed by Youth Leader Sister Mary Lawrence, runs two afterschool clubs and takes care of approximately 100 children. The voluntarily run club enables children to part take in various activities and the children have access to an inclusive and safe environment at  a time when most parents are still at work late.

Irish Heritage Foundation Scotland
The Irish Heritage Foundation works to promote and celebrate Irish Heritage and Culture in Scotland within the framework of celebration cultural diversity and promoting active citizenship. Gaining charity status in early 2012 The Heritage Foundation helps advance social justice and equality through community work and community empowerment promoting the interests of the Irish community and they help relieve poverty through empowering members of the Irish community (children, youth, woman, elders, etc) in their engagement through community initiatives assisting in helping them to develop relevant skills in this respect. They run a monthly Emerald Lunch club which provides elderly isolated Irish with a setting for socialising, meeting and reconnection with broader community and heritage. This lunch club facilitates between 80-100 pensioners on a monthly basis.


Grant Round 2011

London Irish Pensioners Choir

The London Irish Pensioners Choir was established in 2004, it has gone from strength to strength and now has over 40 committed members. Members of the Choir travel from all over the South East to take part and the choir performs all over London and was recently featured in BBC 1's "Songs of Praise". They have recently launched a CD of their material - "Songs of Love and Emigration".

The IFGB grant will be used to cover travel to performances and the hire of muscians to support the Choir. IFGB Executive Director Sheila Bailey visited the Choir in Camden to present the cheque and was treated to a rendition of "My Donegal"!

Birchfield Residents Action Group

Birchfield Residents Action Group will use this grant for their Allotment Sanctuary project.  An allotment has been secured for lonely Irish men, it will become a meeting place where many of them can use their skills and perhaps develop new ones.  There will also be a workshop area where skills can be practiced and an area for talking and playing cards.

National research shows that at least 400,000 older men are lonely, Birchfield Residents Group have found that many older men find it difficult to make friends late in life and can be put off from joining social groups for older people as they tend to be dominated by older women. The grant from the IFGB will allow the project to continue for at least one year.  IFGB Executive Director Sheila Bailey travelled to Birmingham to present the cheque.

Irish Support and Advice Service, Hammersmith

The grant will enable ISAS to provide a Pensioners Worker, who will ensure that Irish pensioners receive all benefits and advice, such as Disability Living Allowance, housing advice and pensions advice that they are entitled to.  Over 1000 people will be helped each month.  The IFGB is proud to support the vital work of the Irish Support and Advice Service. The Ireland Fund of Great Britain Trustee Seamus McGarry presents the cheque to ISAS Chair Dermot Murphy and Manager Mike McGing

Coventry Irish Society, Coventry

Coventry Irish Society will use this grant for their special project to support Survivors of institutional abuse.  This project provides information and advice to Survivors and this funding will allow this support to continue for the foreseeable future.  Ireland Fund Executive Director Sheila Bailey presents the cheque to Outreach Worker Simon McCarthy and some Survivors of Institutional abuse who are helped by the Coventry project.


2010 Grant Round

In the 2009 - 2010 grant round the IFGB awarded over £260,000 to community organisations across Great Britain. 


  • Harps Community Project – Glasgow

North East of England 

  • Tyneside Irish Centre

North West of England 

  • Bolton Irish Community Association
  • Irish Community Care Manchester
  • Irish Community Care Merseyside
  • St Michael's Irish Centre – Liverpool

Yorkshire and Humberside

  • Irish Arts Foundation – Leeds
  • Leeds Irish Health and Homes

West Midlands

  • Coventry Irish Society
  • Irish Welfare and Information Centre – Birmingham
  • Sandwell Irish Society – Birmingham

East Anglia

  • Irish Network Stevenage
  • Luton Irish Forum

East Midlands

  • Northampton Irish Support Group
  • The Irish Senior Citizen Group – Leicester
  • The Emerald Centre – Leicester

Greater London

  • Acton Homeless Concern
  • Age Concern Hillingdon
  • Aisling Return to Ireland Project
  • Central and Cecil (Cara)
  • Cricklewood Homeless Concern
  • Emerald Circle Club
  • Kilburn Irish Pensioners
  • Haringey Irish Centre
  • Haringey Irish Pensioners Association
  • Immigrant Counselling & Psychotherapy
  • Irish Elders Network
  • Irish Elderly Advice Network
  • Irish Cultural Centre
  • Irish in Greenwich
  • London Irish Pensioners Choir
  • Lewisham Irish Community Centre
  • London Irish Survivors Support Group Network
  • Solace Women's Aid
  • Southwark Irish Pensioners Project
  • St. John Bosco Club
  • Tara Irish Pensioners
  • The Irish Chaplaincy in Britain
  • The Irish Charitable Trust
  • West Hampstead Women's Group

South East of England

  • Basingstoke Irish Society
  • Eastleigh & District Irish Society
  • Milton Keynes Irish Welfare Support group
  • Reading Irish Society
  • The Hibernian Society