Exciting New Changes Announced for Iris Charles Centre

Louise Whelan

The Iris Charles Centre, located on Newbridge Avenue in Sandymount is planning a complete overhaul of the centre’s use and facilities. The aim is to bring the centre into the heart of the community, a place where everyone is welcomed. In the past, the centre, a charitable organisation, was primarily known as a place the elderly would lunch. But now, plans to create a new venture and something wonderful for the future will bring the Iris Charles centre into a new era.

Their vision is to be a vibrant, local community centre connecting and bringing people together with a mission to provide a sense of inclusion and belonging, to enhance the quality of life and foster community, in collaboration with agencies and local community groups, social media and individuals, as a much used and well known hub providing space for meetings, gatherings and activities which help promote individual and community wellbeing.

So watch this space..

Iris Charles was born in 1907 and her family home was in Churchill Terrace in Ballsbridge. She was a teacher before she married Dr Hal Charles, a GP in the area in the 1940’s. When her husband remarked that a patient needed someone to talk to, rather than a doctor, Iris and her friends organised coffee mornings, raised money and began visiting elderly people who lived on their own. They called themselves the Sandymount/Ringsend Old People’s Group, a committee under the auspices of the Red Cross. They were anxious to have a premises in the area so they eventually bought the AOH hall and the Old People’s Club was opened. The name of the centre was changed in 1989 to the Iris Charles Centre and it has always been run entirely by volunteers. The committee formed in 1952 has been in continuous existence since that time.

Images: courtesy of the Iris Charles Centre