A GENEROUS supporter of the Southwark Irish Pensioners Project stepped in at the last minute to ensure its more vulnerable members made the St Patrick’s Day Parade in London over the weekend.
Last week, with just a few days to go until one of the highlights of their year took place, SIPP learnt that the double decker bus usually provided by Millwall Football Club to allow them to take part in the parade had broken down.
Given the age of the vehicle, the club was unable to have it fixed in time to ferry the 50 less able men and women of the SIPP to the city centre to take part in the annual St Patrick’s Parade.
So with just three days until the big day, SIPP Project Manager Rita Andrews appealed to readers of The Irish Post to come to their rescue.
“We have held St Patrick’s Day and Christmas celebrations for our pensioners in the Executive Suite at Millwall FC for several years,” SIPP Project Manager Rita Andrews told us.
“About five years ago we realised that many of our pensioners were not as nimble as they once were and found the parade too much for them, so the club offered us the use of the Millwall community bus - along with the driver – which we have used for our less able bodied pensioners, every year since.”
“This year, unfortunately, the bus is sick and the part needed to fix it could not be found due to the age of the vehicle,” she added, “so while we know it’s very last minute if anyone can help at all, I would urge them to please contact me.”
Luckily in the final hours of the weekend, after their plight was shared by The Irish Post, a generous supporter swept in with a double decker bus to loan the project for the day.
And the delighted men and women of the SIPP took pride of place on the bus within the bustling parade line up which left Green Park at 12noon on Sunday, March 15 and made its way to the celebrating throngs enjoying the afternoon festival in Trafalgar Square.