Grant Round 2012

£25,000 to 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.

£1,425 to 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.  

£2,000 to 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.

£3,500 to 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.

£6,111 to 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.

£6,000 to 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

£5,129 to 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.

£45,000 to 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.

£10,000 to 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

£14,000 to 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.

£2,000 to 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.

£4,200 to 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 - £2000

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 - £3500

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 - £7000

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 - £4000 

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 £5000

North East of England 

  • Tyneside Irish Centre - £5000

North West of England 

  • Bolton Irish Community Association - £2,250
  • Irish Community Care Manchester - £9,919
  • Irish Community Care Merseyside - £9,995
  • St Michael's Irish Centre – Liverpool - £7,614

Yorkshire and Humberside

  • Irish Arts Foundation – Leeds - £6,130
  • Leeds Irish Health and Homes - £10,000

West Midlands

  • Coventry Irish Society - £10,000
  • Irish Welfare and Information Centre – Birmingham - £6,988
  • Sandwell Irish Society – Birmingham - £5,520

East Anglia

  • Irish Network Stevenage - £1000
  • Luton Irish Forum - £7,563

East Midlands

  • Northampton Irish Support Group - £7,216
  • The Irish Senior Citizen Group – Leicester - £2,080
  • The Emerald Centre – Leicester - £5,350

Greater London

  • Acton Homeless Concern - £10,000
  • Age Concern Hillingdon - £5,438
  • Aisling Return to Ireland Project - £10,000
  • Central and Cecil (Cara) - £5,790
  • Cricklewood Homeless Concern - £10,000
  • Emerald Circle Club - £1,000
  • Kilburn Irish Pensioners - £1,000
  • Haringey Irish Centre - £9,000
  • Haringey Irish Pensioners Association - £2,425
  • Immigrant Counselling & Psychotherapy - £7,000
  • Irish Elders Network – £3,600
  • Irish Elderly Advice Network - £6,393
  • Irish Cultural Centre - £4,630
  • Irish in Greenwich - £6,957
  • London Irish Pensioners Choir - £1,780
  • Lewisham Irish Community Centre - £7,430
  • London Irish Survivors Support Group Network - £7,720
  • Solace Women's Aid - £10,000
  • Southwark Irish Pensioners Project - £4,500
  • St. John Bosco Club - £2,000
  • Tara Irish Pensioners - £1,500
  • The Irish Chaplaincy in Britain - £2,000
  • The Irish Charitable Trust - £10,000
  • West Hampstead Women's Group - £5,797

South East of England

  • Basingstoke Irish Society - £2,500
  • Eastleigh & District Irish Society - £2,662
  • Milton Keynes Irish Welfare Support group - £7,000
  • Reading Irish Society - £5,000
  • The Hibernian Society - £7,000