Southwark Irish Pensioners Project

Southwark Irish Pensioners Project

At a glance


  • Black, asian and minority ethnic groups
  • Older people / later life

Other details

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At Southwark Irish Pensioners Project (SIPP) we provide a lifeline to hundreds of elderly, vulnerable and isolated Irish people in Southwark, Lambeth and Lewsiham - some of the most deprived boroughs in London.

For the past 30 years we have been helping generations of Irish people who emigrated to Britain in the 50’s and 60’s, to get the essential support they need to enjoy a comfortable and decent retirement.

We are regarded as an established and respected service in this sector in London and we have won awards for our work including an Irish Post Community Award.                    

Our pensioners emigrated to England at a time when racism towards Irish people was rife. Many learned to survive by not talking, as their accents betrayed their origins. They left Ireland uneducated and worked in manual jobs. They socialised in their own communities - churches, dance halls and pubs. They avoided authorities and many still mistrust statutory agencies.

As a result, they rely on us now to help them to access the social, healthcare and other services they need. We fill in the gaps for this generation. We add value to the basic health, social and welfare support packages provided by the State for people who remain at the margins of mainstream British society.



We currently support over 500 older people by providing a comprehensive mix of community support and day services.  Community services range from outreach, befriending, hospital visits, information, advice and advocacy across a broad range of subjects including welfare benefits, housing, home care packages, hospital discharge, debt, accessing services etc.  We also provide a friendly drop-in day service Tuesday to Friday that offers a variety of recreational and therapeutic activities in a warm and welcoming atmosphere.

84% of our pensioners are aged over 70 years of age which includes 44% aged over 80 years of age - nearly 60% of them live alone.

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