Luton Irish Forum (LIF) is a registered charity and limited company formed in 1997, with over 900 members and a fully accessible centre close to Luton Town Centre. Whilst originally set up to safeguard the needs of the Irish residents in Luton, LIF is now a truly representative community organisation serving Luton’s diverse vulnerable and socially excluded people. Our activities and events which promote health and wellbeing, improve quality of life and increase social inclusion are accessed 30,000 times annually.
LIF provides Welfare support through drop-ins, appointments and home visits relating to welfare benefits, housing, debt, applications for an Irish Passport and provides practical support to engage with Ombudsman services, tribunals, courts and appeals.
LIF coordinates a range of activities, groups and events which raise cultural awareness including St Patrick’s Festival, The Emerald Pipe Band, Cultural Seminars and School Workshops. We promote health and wellbeing and community learning through Keep fit, Irish Language Classes, The Literary Society, The Calligraphy Group, Art Classes and Computer Club. For further information about events and activities see our What’s on.
LIF facilitates social opportunities through our Elders Project, Baby & Toddler Group and Business LINk. We manage an information website This is Luton for young Irish and Polish people who are considering moving to or who have just arrived in Luton. We also manage Catching the Boat an online archive showcasing the working lives of the Irish that settled in Luton from 1940 to 1960.
LIF holds the contract for Healthwatch Luton, an independent consumer champion for health and social care services in Luton which brings together people’s views and experiences to improve services.
LIF works with partners to provide further opportunities that its member can take advantage of: yoga, dance, Desmond (group for those with or at risk of Diabetes), 50+ Job Club and a Polish advice drop-in and casework service.
LIF contributes to local and national policy and has commissioned 2 research reports: ‘The needs of the local Irish community in Luton’, 2004 and ‘The Long-term Sustainability of Luton Irish Forum: A Minority Group Community Service Provider’, 2010