The Ireland Funds Great Britain (IFGB) hosted its first Impact Breakfast on 23 May 2019 where guests were invited to meet three organisations that have received funding through the annual IFGB Grant Round thanks to their donations and support. Over a light breakfast kindly provided by Bank of America Merrill Lynch, guests heard presentations from Catherine Hennessy, CEO of icap (Immigration Counselling and Psychotherapy); Noelette Hanley, Chief Officer of Luton Irish Forum and; Eilish Byrne-Whelehan, Musical Director of Feith an Cheoil School of Traditional Music.
Director of The Ireland Funds Great Britain, Katie Jemmett opened the event and introduced the host, John McIvor, who spoke briefly about his and Bank of America Merrill Lynch’s connection to Ireland and the philanthropic support they provide to projects in Ireland.
Catherine Hennessy then began the session, explaining to the group how icap has been successful in tackling the stigma around mental health among the older Irish community through its culturally sensitive therapeutic approach coupled with strong partnerships with Irish welfare organisations, alcohol and mental health services for nearly 20 years. Noelette Hanley outlined to the group how Luton Irish Forum is a truly representative community organisation that serves Luton’s diverse, vulnerable and socially excluded people before showing how IFGB’s support has made a difference to this work. Eilish Byrne-Whelehan concluded the Impact Breakfast by giving an overview of the teaching done by Feith an Cheoil, the contribution this has had to the local Irish community and beyond and how IFGB’s donations have fed into this.
Each presentation was followed by a lively and thoughtful discussion on the work done by each organisation and the challenges they face.
Special thanks to the event sponsor Bank of America Merrill Lynch.