Sandwell Irish Community Association was born after a health survey commissioned by the Primary Care Trust in 1999. The results from this survey raised alarm at some of the health inequalities that were found within the Irish community.
Due to the concern of the statutory and third sector organisations and the Irish community a steering group was formed under the guidance and steward ship of the Primary Care Trust and with input from statutory organisations and the community it was decided to form an Irish community group with a remit to help raise awareness of these health issues and promote Irish culture and heritage.
In March 2002 our organisation the Sandwell Irish Community Association was formed, it began on a voluntary basis which continued for five years, this helped our group to build a firm foundation helping us to move steadily forward and enabling our organisation and community to build partnerships with different organisations and other community groups.
Because of the strides we had made as a community group the decision was made to take the organisation to the next level.
The next step was to obtain premises which would enable us to put in place the services we had identified over the years that would help benefit the community and would help us deliver the outcomes and combat the problems that had been identified by the outreach work we had undertaken in the years previous.
This evidence had been gathered though holding different events both social and health based where we encouraged comment’s through feedback both written and verbal, with this information it has allowed our organisation to target the services and professional bodies that will help us address the identified health inequalities and help us promote and raise Irish heritage and cultural interests within the Irish community and beyond.