We hope you are all safe and well.
We wanted to give you an update on some of the work we’ve been doing for the local community during this very difficult time. We’ve been overwhelmed with the communities generosity of spirit and resistance and we’re glad we can continue to play our part in making peoples lives a little easier at this time.
The Lewisham Irish Bia (food) Project in partnership with Wheels for Wellbeing and Catford Fridge continues. The project was set up to support the older Irish community and residents who were self-isolating. We offered a healthy meal and an essential food parcel for those who were unable or had limited access to local supermarkets/ online shopping. To date, we have delivered 500 hot meals and 224 food parcels to residents who are self-isolating and in need.
In partnership with Southwark Irish Pensioners Project and Wheels of Wellbeing, we recruited a team of 24 new volunteers to deliver meals, food parcels and befriending to our community. The team of volunteers prepare and delivery weekly nutritious meals and food parcels and spend time befriending those self-isolating.
We delivered 75 activity packs to our older Irish community. In a time of isolation, many of our community are reminded of home and the loss of weekly interaction with their family and friends. It’s particularly important during this time that our older community are aware of how much we value their contribution and support.
We’ve supported 252 individuals through advice, advocacy and befriending across the Irish advice and outreach services since March. Making a total of 1657 telephone calls.
We’ve been working remotely helping clients access Universal Credit, appeal welfare benefits claims, assert their housing rights and access to counseling and legal services via our partners, Immigrant Counseling and Psychotherapy Services and Ewings and Co Solicitors.
Planning for the Future
This period has highlighted the needs of our community and our ability to meet the changing needs and adapt our services to offer support and care. We are committed to increasing online access and delivering projects digitally over the coming months.
As we move into the next stages and the gradual easing of lockdown we’ll offer onsite advice appointments, we will continue our outreach projects during the summer and keep the gradual re-opening of the venue under regular review.
We would like to thank our dedicated staff team for their commitment and support to the community, working from home delivering services, often over seven-day periods, during this difficult time.
Special thanks to our partners who have supported and contributed to our new projects and offer on-going support throughout the year including ICAP, SIPP, Ewing’s and co. solicitors, Rushey Green Timebank and Lewisham Foodcycle, London Youth, Irish In Britain Lewisham Council, and The Irish Embassy.
As the weeks have gone by the need has increased, we have been very fortunate to have the support of our volunteers and partners to enable us to carry out our essential work.
We look forward to the gradual reopening for the Centre in the coming months in the meantime we will keep in touch.