We are all missing seeing our friends and of course we haven't been able to go back home on holiday this year. Back in the day letters would be a regular way of communicating but sadly few do that now. Think of the post we get - all official mail and rarely except maybe at Christmas and on birthdays do we find personal mail in our mailboxes. There's no excitement opening an e-mail and even if it says something lovely you're not likely to print it to keep? We should try and rediscover the art of letter writing because without a doubt it is the best connection with family and friends. My mother who lived to 93 used to tell me " don't be phoning me because I have forgotten what you said as soon as I put the phone down. Write to me every week and I can reread your letter over and over to remind me what you wanted to tell me" My father had a different take on my letters! When I went home there might be several tucked away and he would produce them and point to words he couldn't read and ask me what they were and why my writing was not clear as my sister's was! It drove me mad yet he still did it and to his credit he did write often to all of us.
Sending postcards was just one of Rita's great ideas. I didn't think it was very important and how wrong I was!
I heard from staff that so many had phoned in to say how welcome and uplifting the cards were. They showed we were thinking of them and assuring them that help was only a phone call away.
After the 2nd post out I said I never wanted to see another postcard and that was partly due to the fact that they were all pictures of Donegal - over 600. Had I found even 1 picture of a location in another county that would have been great!! No offence to you Donegal people - Donegal is beautiful but beauty is mostly in the eye of the beholder!! With that in mind I contacted the Irish Tourist Board in Dublin asking for cards representing each county in Ireland and finally to-day spoke to a lovely Dublin girl who will do her best to find what we want so fingers crossed that some time in November members/clients will get a card that will truly remind them of home whichever county they come from. If you, reading this, think you can help me get what I want please do and I'll be happy to send you a Donegal card in return!! You can e-mail me on firstname.lastname@example.org - see there it is again - the quick option! Now many of you will have received a stamped postcard ready to send. Please make sure you use it and send that message to one of your friends that you are missing from the club, this is how we can all make sure we stay in touch, stay connected.
SIPP at the Irish Embassy
Celebrations to mark 25 years of SIPP began with an event at the Irish Embassy in London hosted by The Ambassador Adrian O’Neill and his wife Aisling.
While the surroundings were elegant the hard work and dedication of all at SIPP and those who use its services was central to the evening.
Peter Gill from SIPP was a little nervous as he stood behind a small podium and told the gathering he was not used to public speaking. Within minutes as Peter spoke about the work he and the rest of the team do, he had the room captivated. Without giving any real names he detailed the case of one man who came to the UK from Ireland as a teenager seeking a better life. He worked cash in hand for decades at a time when Irish in the UK were not always welcome. He never built a stable life and as he got older found himself with little or nothing. Peter described how like many in the same situation the man was proud and ashamed to ask for help. When he finally came across SIPP his life was transformed. In Peter’s words SIPP “gave him his identity back”. He re-engaged with long lost family and had a far more enriched and happy life in his later years. There was not a dry eye in the room as Peter told this story.
Other wonderful words of support and thanks came from The Ambassador and from Nora Higgins, but it was Peter’s first hand account of the work that SIPP does that will be remembered. At the event were fantastic supporters and sponsors, some long standing and some new ones whom everyone at SIPP were delighted to welcome. The Leader of Southwark Council Peter John OBE was also there continuing his long standing support for SIPP.
Raising money for SIPP is vital and these supporters were reassured that their help and every penny donated is being put to very good use.
It was a lovely evening where all the staff and supporters of SIPP enjoyed a drink and the now famous Irish Embassy black pudding canapés.