A NEW project has been launched to help bring the young and elderly communities of Irish people living in Britain together through the power of GAA.
The ‘Good Match’ project has been set up by Cricklewood charity Ashford Place in partnership with the Provincial Council of Britain to help improve relations between the two generations.
It aims to match every GAA club to its nearest Irish welfare centre and help both groups decide how to engage and support each other.
The project encourages the younger Irish to connect with the older Irish so that they can learn together and from each other about what it means to be Irish in Britain.
The charity hopes to achieve this by hosting a number of activities, which they hope will promoted better understanding, closeness and respect between the two often disconnected generations.
“Dance halls, pubs and community clubs, those kind of places where the elderly Irish used to congregate and socialise have been disappearing, and with that of course comes social isolation,” explained CEO of Ashford Place, Danny Maher.
“The Good Match project was conceived as a way to reconnect the elderly with the Irish community. You have this new generation of young Irish immigrants moving here and I thought, ‘wouldn’t it be great if they could connect?’
“They’re of very different eras but they both share the experience of having crossed the Irish Sea trying to make a living. So who knows how much they could help each other when they’re brought together?”
The project, which is supported by the Irish Embassy and Irish in Britain, will include a number of mutually beneficial activities.
Young GAA players are invited to visit the elderly to play cards, have a chat about home, sport or anything else of their choosing.
They are also invited to organise an annual celebratory event or day out, as well as to partake in fundraising for their partner Irish welfare group.
The elderly Irish are invited to talk to the young people about their experience of coming to England, and in doing so help pass on their invaluable expertise on how to make it in Britain as an Irish immigrant.
Here's who's signed up to date...
Southwark Irish Pensioners Project and Dulwich Harps
Haringey Irish Centre and North London Shamrocks
Innisfree Housing Association and Harlesden Harps
Luton Irish Project and St Dympna’s
London Irish Centre and Eire Og
Ashford Place Cricklewood and Tara GAA