Dermot O’Leary joins London Irish Centre volunteers delivering food parcels to elderly community
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Dermot O’Leary joins London Irish Centre volunteers delivering food parcels to elderly community

DERMOT O’LEARY joined up with the London Irish Centre’s volunteer team to deliver essential food parcels to the English capital’s elderly Irish community. 

The TV presenter and BBC radio host is a keen patron of the charity and avid supporter of its work in providing care, community and culture to the Irish living in London. 

Working alongside organisations like Camden Council, the London Irish Centre has been busy during the pandemic remodeling its services to ensure those most vulnerable to coronavirus remain safe and supported. 

They currently operate a telephone helpline for the elderly and vulnerable, providing frequent contact and access to qualified practitioners able to address concerns around symptoms, medications, exercise and nutrition. 

The charity has also extended its existing Befriending Service to providing emotional support and a friendly voice to those who are isolated during these uncertain times. 

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A key cornerstone of the support services offered has been the twice-weekly deliveries of food, medication and other essentials along with community food fridges set up to ensure no one goes hungry. 

It's all part of a service O’Leary was more than happy to lend his support to earlier this month, rolling up his sleeves to get involved in everything from the parceling up of food items to the face-to-face delivery of these much-appreciated packages. 

For those receiving these essentials, the sight of a friendly face and someone to talk to, during this often lonely and reflective period of lockdown, will have meant so much. 

“Many of the people we support are older, socially isolated, and living with serious physical and mental health issues,” a spokesperson for the London Irish Centre explains on its website. 

“As the oldest community in London, with poorer health than the general population, and being more likely to live alone, our community is at risk like no other. 

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“The very real threat of sickness, isolation, and closing services requires an urgent response. 

“We want to do everything we can to keep them safe and well through these uncertain times.” 

Happy to help out and do his bit for the Irish community, O’Leary has made no secret of the personal pride and appreciation he feels for his family’s heritage. 

“I’m very proud of my Irish heritage,” he told the London Irish Centre after being named its patron. 

“My parents were part of the post war generation of immigrants who came to London to find a new life, so the London Irish community is one that is very close to my heart.” 

To find out more about the work of the London Irish Centre and lend your support, click here.