X FACTOR presenter Dermot O’Leary is leading calls for support for vulnerable members of the Irish community in London over Christmas.
The TV presenter’s parents Sean and Marie were both born in Wexford and O’Leary is known to be proud of his heritage.
The host, who rejoined the music talent show this year, is supporting the London Irish Centre’s Christmas appeal to help support less well-off members of the Irish community in the capital.
“It’s a big honour for me to be patron of the London Irish Centre,” said the 43-year-old, whose full name is Sean Dermot Fintan Michael Gerard O’Leary.
“I’m very proud of my Irish heritage, 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.
“We want and need the Irish community to support this important work for the Irish in most need.”
The London Irish Centre, based in Camden, has been at the heart of the Irish community in London for over 60 years.
The LIC’s Christmas appeal aims to support those Irish who emigrated only to find themselves lonely and vulnerable.
Social isolation, mental health problems, addiction, family breakdown and homelessness are just some of issues faced by many.
Older people and the elderly are particularly vulnerable over the Christmas period.
Seán Kennedy, CEO London Irish Centre, said: “For most of us, Christmas means friends and family, presents and looking forward to a great New Year.
“But, for many vulnerable Irish people in London, it means loneliness, a long hard winter and, and with ongoing welfare cuts, a grim time in 2017.
“This appeal helps us to provide support and advice services to those in most need.”
WATCH: How the London Irish Centre is helping people in need: