This Crosscare Migrant Project report is a result of a detailed survey of Irish community organisations in Britain, the US and Australia, followed up by interviews, on how they responded to the Covid 19 pandemic. The report is a testament to the resilience, determination and commitment of these organisations to find new ways to support their local communities through what has been an extraordinary 18 months.
The launch was addressed by Colm Brophy, Minister for Overseas Development Aid and Diaspora, who talked about the importance of the Irish government’s Covid Response Fund for Irish Communities, set up in 2020, in addition to the Emigrant Support Programme.
He paid tribute to the collaboration seen throughout the Irish diaspora alongside the “outpouring of support from the wider Irish community”.
Ambassador Adrian O’Neill attended the online launch and spoke movingly about the role of Irish community organisations facing the unprecedented challenges created by the pandemic, describing them as "exceptional and heroic".
Brian Dalton, Irish in Britain’s CEO congratulated Crosscare Migrant Project on successfully completing field research during a pandemic, saying it was an “important contribution to our understanding of how we respond to the shared challenges of rebuilding and recovery” showing that “we are and will always be part of a global community, interdependent and interrelated. Delivering support for those on the margins of education, healthcare, work opportunities and financial security is a measure of ourselves and our values of kinship.”
Danielle McLaughlin, Irish Abroad Networking Officer at Crosscare presented some of the key findings of the report and Richard King, Project Leader for Crosscare Migrant Project moderated a panel discussion with Noelette Hanley, of Luton Irish Forum and Patrick Rogers Irish Community Care Manchester.
The report reveals common and country-specific issues across the geographical divides, for example Irish organisations in Britain did not have to address visa problems or issues with health insurance among Irish citizens, however financial insecurity, social isolation and digital inclusion were common themes. Groups based in Britain also reported the disproportionate impact the pandemic and lockdowns had on the Travelling community.
The report is divided up in to the mains themes:
Isolation, Wellbeing and Mental Health
Interestingly 90 percent of the organisations all reported an increase in the number of emigrants contacting them during the pandemic. The value of the services provided by so many different community organisations is evident throughout this report, making this a valuable resource for Irish community organisations in the future looking to secure funding and other support for their work.
The report will be launched in the coming week in Australia and the US.
You can read the full report HERE.