Irish Women's Support Group
Thursdays 10.00am – 12pm
Open to Irish women of birth and descent, this group offers the opportunity to learn new skills, offer and receive support and share feelings and experiences in a friendly environment. The group is run by an experienced facilitator. New members welcome, just drop in anytime. The group is supported by the Irish Emigrant Support Program.
The Irish Women’s Group provides a space where women are made to feel at ease, while keeping up with the wider world. Conversations covered personal and domestic matters as well as social and political happenings and supporting each other through past and present challenges.
The Irish women’s group continues to meet for two hours every Thursday morning, unless we go out on a trip. In spring, we picnicked at Queens Park and at Golders Hill. We had a great day out at Ruislip Lido in the Summer and we visited the Christmas market at St Albans in December. We visited two exhibitions at the British Museum, one on US prints and posters from the 1960s and the other on religions.
We looked up Irish singers on the web, discovering both Eleanor McEvoy who wrote ‘A Women’s Heart’ and the band Celtic Women, which gave us the chance to appreciate the huge changes that have taken place in the performance of Irish culture. In September, we were blown away by Eleanor McAvoy performing live at an intimate gig in a church during Islington Prom. Soon afterward, we found our way to South Kensington for a classical recital, followed by afternoon tea at HTB in Queens Gate.
People shared happy things and problems, ideas and information. We also shared irritations - such as scams and marketing phone calls and our thoughts about social and political issues both global and local.‘You go home with lots of interesting things to think about’ as one member said.
Sadly, Phil Thornberry, a native of Westmeath and a woman of wisdom and gentle wit, died in the spring. As she had planned, we heard Johnny Cash’s rendition of ‘How Great thou Art’ at her funeral. She would have been very pleased to see that we also had several new members join us in the course of the year.
In the autumn, we enjoyed a weekly singing practice in preparation for the Centre’s end of year party, where we led the singing of Christmas songs. We rounded off 2017 with a bacon and cabbage meal for the group at West Hampstead Women’s Centre.
2018 also saw the start of a new evening Creative Writing Group facilitated by a student on placement from Middlesex University.
Women from all of our support groups attend our regular events, classes and volunteer programmes which helps to bridge communities, reduce isolation and build strong friendships.