Dedicated Irish woman Agnes Forde to receive The Irish Post Community Award 2016

Dedicated Irish woman Agnes Forde to receive The Irish Post Community Award 2016

A CORK woman who has been an ambassador for the Irish community in south London since arriving in the city in the 1940s will receive the Irish Post Community Award 2016.

Agnes Forde has been involved in the Irish Community Services organisation for many years and was the first person elected as president of the group.

Born in Kinsale in 1923, she was the youngest of eight children and grew up on the family farm.

She married her husband Sean, who was in the British Army, in 1943 and moved to Blackheath in south London in 1947.

It was there, as a young mother of two away from home, that she made a conscious decision to reach out to her local community.

She became heavily involved in the parish of the St John Fisher Catholic Church in Kidbrooke, where she has remained active as a cleaner, choir member and funeral caterer over the years.

Of Ms Forde’s work with the Irish community, Irish Community Services secretary Ann Lucas said: “Her people skills are outstanding and her service to the Irish Community in Greenwich since the 1940s has been exemplary.

"She is genuinely interested in listening and caring about everyone she meets. She has made it her life’s work to bring joy and understanding across the wider community in south east London.”

Ms Forde is also currently the president of the Greenwich Irish Pensioners’ Association, which meets twice monthly in Woolwich to socialise and organise events for their members.

She will be honoured for her work with the community at next month’s Irish Post Awards, which take place at the Grosvenor House Hotel on Park Lane on Friday, November 25.

The event will see over 1,000 people come together to celebrate the many successes of the Irish in Britain across a range of industries.