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Stars come together for London Irish Centre

Stars such as Dermot O’Leary, Niall Horan, Laura Whitmore, Imelda May and Gavin James will join together for a charity night for the London Irish Centre in Camden next Thursday.

Other names to appear will include comedian Dara O Briain, television presenter Angela Scanlon, Derry Girls star Siobhan McSweeney, The Blizzards, Mundy and The Umbrella Academy actor Robert Sheehan.

The evening will also include a charity auction with the opportunity to win great prizes from Ed Sheeran among others.

Television presenter Dermot O’Leary said: “I’m very proud to be patron of The London Irish Centre. The LIC does amazing work across London, and right now, they need our support. As it’s not possible to run our usual fundraising events, I’m thrilled that our friends and supporters are joining us for a little online fundraising adventure.”

The LIC has been providing community services and Irish culture to London since 1954 and the Covid-19 crisis has had a huge effect on its capacity to provide this support, especially to London’s large older Irish community, who are especially vulnerable.

The centre closed its doors on Wednesday 18 March and responded to the pandemic by reshaping its services; increasing web and telephone support to deliver over 1,100 advice sessions and 1,000 health check-in calls, training up over 30 telephone befrienders, engaging over 200 volunteers, and providing over 2,000 hot meals and food parcels to the community and becoming the first Centre shielding the vulnerable in Camden.

The closure of the Centre has resulted in a significant financial loss with the cancellation of several large fundraising events. Throughout the evening the LIC hope to raise £100,000 for the older Irish community it supports.

Ellen Ryan, CEO at The London Irish Centre said: “I am so proud of the way we have all pulled together as a community through this crisis. Staff, volunteers and our friends have worked hand in hand to ensure that we deliver the services and cultural output needed to enable the community to feel a sense of hope and resilience for the future. We have also received crucial support from the Irish Government and Irish Embassy, London, and our partners at Camden Council. This very special event is your opportunity to join us and support our essential work to enable us to continue our recovery into the future.’

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The event, which will be a night of music and conversation, will be streamed on the London Irish Centre’s Facebook and YouTube pages.

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