A VOLUNTEER at the Coventry Irish Society has launched a campaign to secure a permanent home for the organisation.
Margaret is appealing for the Irish community in Britain to support the drive to find new premises for the charity.
The 71-year-old is a client of the organisation, which was founded in 1993 and provides a wide range of advice, support and information to the Irish community across Coventry.
A survivor, who experienced an “incredibly difficult” childhood in Ireland, Margaret has experienced first-hand the important work being done by the Society, which plans to move to a permanent location in the city at St Osburg’s Parish Centre in Upper Hill Street.
In order to make the move, the charity needs to raise around £50,000 in funding to refurbish the premises.
“I don’t think people realise the work the Irish Society does, they help so many people who wouldn’t get that help anywhere else,” Margaret told The Irish Post.
“At the Irish Society I experienced a warmth and a friendliness that I haven’t experienced anywhere else, it enables you to talk about your problems and I know of many others that the charity has literally kept sane,” she added.
Margaret is keen to raise awareness of the charity among the wider Irish community across Britain and also its current financial position.
“I don’t understand why people don’t support the Charity more, I can only assume that people don’t realise the great work the Charity is doing, or I wonder if people actually realise the Irish Society is a Charity,” she said.
This month Margaret will host an event to raise funds for the charity.
Her Nearly New Sale will be held at St John’s Church, Fleet Street, CV1 3AY on Saturday, November 20 from 11am to 3pm.
Through the event she hopes to raise money and awareness about the importance of the services that the small charity provides – donations for the event are also welcome.
It will include a raffle for Christmas hampers, home-baked cakes, tea cakes and refreshments.
Coventry Irish Society manager Simon McCarthy said of Margaret’s campaign to support the centre: “For many people the charity is a lifeline, providing services that they cannot get elsewhere, such as specialist support for Irish survivors, support with Irish pensions and Irish passports, a culturally sensitive dementia support group, lunch clubs for the Irish elderly and so much social and befriending support to combat the growing isolation in an aging Irish born population in the city”.
The charity’s proposed relocation to St Osburg’s will include an Irish Café facility that will help reduce social isolation among the older Irish community.
It will also be home to the recent Irish Oral History exhibition Irish Heart, Coventry Home, providing a long-lasting testimony to the contribution the Irish community has made to the city.
To support the campaign click here.
Cash or cheques made payable to the Coventry Irish Society can be made at the charity’s current offices at 41, Smithford Way CV1 1FY.
Paypal contributions can be made using [email protected].