13/03/2015 : Minister Humphreys visits Irish community and cultural projects in London
Friday, 13th March 2015—The Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Heather Humphreys TD, will today visit Irish community and cultural projects in London. The Minister is in London for a four day trade and community focused mission, as part of the Government’s ‘Promote Ireland’ programme.
A Children’s Culture Camp is being held in the Irish Embassy this morning, in partnership with the Irish Cultural Centre, which has a very strong schools outreach programme. Some 80 primary school children will experience a mini Culture Camp to include storytelling and sessions on Irish music, dance and craft.
Minister Humphreys will also officially open the new premises of the Southwark Irish Pensioners’ Project, which is a user-led pensioners’ welfare group which provides services for over 400 people, four days a week. The Project, which is supported by the Irish Government, provides social activities, such as bingo, dancing, keep fit and art, as well as welfare benefit advice and an outreach service for isolated Irish older people living in London.
Tomorrow (Saturday), Minister Humphreys will visit the Second Skin exhibition in City Hall, which is being held as part of the Irish Year of Design 2015. Minister Humphreys will also view a number of art exhibitions, including the Anthony Murray exhibition at the Bloomsbury Hotel and works by Irish artists at the TATE Britain..
Speaking today Minister Humphreys said:
“The strength of the Irish community in London is incredible and it is wonderful to see organisations like the Southwark Irish Pensioners’ Project (SIPP) providing such important services to older members of the Irish community living here. SIPP has been supported by the Irish Government’s Emigrant Support Programme for the last 20 years.
“I am delighted to be opening the new premises for the Irish Pensioners’ Project today. The Irish Government is committed to supporting the Irish community in Britain, particularly the more vulnerable and marginalised members of that community. By channelling financial support through the Emigrant Support Programme to projects like SIPP, the Government is helping to provide important services to isolated and older members of the Irish community living here.
“It was wonderful to meet with 80 year old Nora Higgins, Chair of SIPP, who first moved to London in the 1960s to work as a nurse. Nora has been a fantastic advocate for the Irish community over the last five decades, over which time the experience of the Irish in the UK has changed dramatically. For almost 20 years Nora has been providing incredible support to older Irish people in the Southwark area.”