We are a leading social action charity providing high quality services and support to excluded, vulnerable and isolated Irish people in England and Wales. As we reach out, we hope we're contributing to a fairer, more just society, one person at a time.Our Staff and Volunteers
Our services include
Visiting prisoners and offering an information and advocacy service in England and Wales to them and their families
Advocating for the human rights of Irish Travellers & Gypsies, providing support and education in the criminal justice system
Alleviating loneliness and social exclusion experienced by older Irish people by offering friendship, pastoral support and advocacy services
Providing a general outreach service for younger immigrants from Ireland
We offer advice, support and friendship to Irish prisoners in England and Wales, older Irish people, Irish Travellers and Gypsies and younger people with an Irish background. We're the only charity in the UK offering help to Irish prisoners across the whole of England & Wales. Here's how our story unfolded.
In the 1950s and 60s many people from Ireland came to the UK. The Catholic Church in Ireland recognised that moving to another country was no small endeavour and that it would take time for those people to settle in.
So in 1957 the Irish Bishops sent 9 priests to minister to the many Irish people who had arrived in England in the post-war years. To begin with the priests quite literally walked alongside people working in the construction and hospitality industries, marking the start of the Irish Chaplaincy.
We’ve been mentioned in the press on numerous occasions for the vital work we do. We help as many people as we can with the resources we have.
Today, we continue to meet and walk alongside Irish people, especially those most isolated and vulnerable such as Irish prisoners, older Irish people and Travellers. Our work stems from our spiritual roots, embracing the core meaning of Catholic, which is 'universal' and 'inclusive'. We work with people regardless of their religious background.
There are many more people who would benefit from our services if we had the resources. We’d be grateful for any help you can offer either by becoming a volunteer or by donating.
You can also get the latest updates from our case workers and volunteers by joining our email list.VolunteerDonate NowSign up for Email Updates and News
Although the term 'innovation' seems to be the buzzword, we've found that most of the time it's the little things that make a big difference. For example, simply talking to someone, holding a Travellers' forum in a prison to offer someone a voice, or writing a letter to a prisoner are the most effective ways to lift their spirit. We know people's needs change over time and we've carried out plenty of research to be sure we're offering the most helpful services. But the message is clear, that in most cases simply being a kind friend is powerful enough to change someone's life. For us, these simple actions have stood the test of time.
Learn more about our services
We help them and their families with a range of concerns through our advocacy service such as with their healthcare in prison, human rights and or their welfare. We also support people with repatriation and offer our friendship so that they don’t feel alone regardless of their conviction. Although we don’t offer legal advice, we have built a network of people and organisations over the years that can help and we offer plenty of useful resources.See our work with Irish prisoners
Human rights for Irish Travellers
Our work with Irish Travellers
We also advocate for the rights of Irish Travellers, for example by protesting with them against a site demolition, supporting their educational needs in prison or by writing to the authorities on their behalf. This community has a rich culture and is often misunderstood.See our work with Irish Travellers
Reaching out to older Irish people
Our Irish Seniors Project
Over the years we have also developed meaningful friendships with older Irish people who have specific cultural needs. We offer a listening ear to a person who may not have had anyone visit them for a year. We find that they seem happier and lighter after our visits and we receive many thank you messages for relieving the pangs of loneliness.See our work with older Irish people