Statement from the Irish Elderly Advice Network and the Irish Pensioners Choir regarding upcoming events

As of today, 6th December 2021, the Irish Elderly Advice Network and the Irish Pensioners Choir are postponing all social events and performances until January 2022.

  • For the safety of older Irish people, all our Christmas Gathering on the 15th December will now be postponed until January 2022.   

  • All tickets purchased for events will be valid for the new date.    

  • Full refunds will be given to people who would prefer to have the money back.   

  • The Irish Pensioners Choir performances and rehearsals are paused until January 2022

  • Irish Elders Musical events are paused until January 2022

 

Full Statement

 

As a charity for older Irish people in London, we are very sorry to once again find ourselves making a very difficult decision about our activities for our community. We know how hard it has been for so many older people to live through multiple lockdowns, the ending of social events and activities, and the loss of many friends and family members to Covid and Covid-related complications. We know how important it has been for us to be able to come together as a community over the last few months and start living life again, as far as possible.

However, with the arrival of the Omicron variant, including having been identified in Camden, and the lack of clarity about whether vaccines are as effective against it, we are compelled to take cautious and preventative action to protect our community. Right now, this means postponing our large Christmas event and temporarily halting our choir activities. We are grateful to have support from older Irish people in taking this decision. We hope that most people will understand that we have not done this lightly.


The older Irish community in London has seen many members of our community become seriously ill with Covid, seen family members pass away, unable even to attend their funerals due to Covid restrictions. Amidst all of this, we have worked hard to reopen as safely as possible, to create opportunities for people to come together, enjoy a song, a tune, company and friendship over the last year. We have been very pleased to welcome so many new people into the community of the Irish Elderly Advice Network and the Irish Pensioners Choir in recent months. We will reopen everything again as soon as it is safe to do so, and there will be many more good times to come.

The Irish Elderly Advice Network had planned for a wonderful Christmas Gathering on the 15th December at the London Irish Centre. This was a special event for older Irish people – 220 people, with two live bands and special guest singer, Dermot Hegarty, food, dancing and a great day planned after a very challenging time. The event was sold out, and we had older Irish people coming from all 32 boroughs in Greater London. We are deeply sorry to have to take the decision to postpone this event but we can assure you all that it will go ahead at a later date – hopefully towards the end of January. All tickets purchased will be valid for this event, and full refunds will be given for those who would prefer to have the money returned. Please call us on 02074280471 or email events@irishelders.org.uk for more information. 

The Irish Elderly Advice Network lost two dear friends and central figures for our charity during the Covid period – Alice Kennedy, Chair, and Margaret Geiger, Head of Housing and Welfare. We feel their absence every day. Their passing is our ever-present reminder of the reality of the vulnerability of older people during Covid. We cannot risk holding events in which someone could become infected with the new Covid variant and become serious ill. There is simply too much not known about the new variant and the effectiveness of vaccines.

For now, we ask for your support and understanding, we ask you to please check in on each other by phone, and please stay as safe as possible while the world tries to understand the implications of the new variant. This difficult time will eventually pass, and we want you all to be there when it does. If you would like to speak to anyone at the Irish Elderly Advice Network, including our Phone Befriending service – run by older Irish people – please call us on 02074280471.

Wishing you all a safe and happy Christmas, and please do get in touch with us if you need some support during this time. 



Best wishes, 



Nora Mulready - CEO and Tom Wheeler - Chair

On behalf of all staff and Trustees of the Irish Elderly Advice Network

  • Or Call us on 02074280471