Special Award for Monica’s Place in Handsworth

Monica Jones, pictured with the Ireland Fund of Great Britain Award -also included, support workers Eileen Teer (left) and Ann McLoughlin and resident Joe Curtis.

Monica Jones, pictured with the Ireland Fund of Great Britain Award -also included, support workers Eileen Teer (left) and Ann McLoughlin and resident Joe Curtis.

This month we feature one celebration connected with Monica’s Place in Handsworth, where Galway -born resident Michael Higgins celebrated his 90th birthday.

Just before we went to press came news of another big celebration-this time a very special award for Monica Jones, the founder of Monica’s Place.

At a special awards ceremony at The Irish Embassy in London, The Ireland Fund of Great Britain presented Monica with a specially engraved Tipperary crystal vase in recognition for her outstanding work in the community. The actual award was made by Irish Ambassador to Britain, Dan Mulhall.

The citation at the awards ceremony paid tribute to Monica’s trojan work amongst `The Forgotten Irish`- men who over the years had fallen on hard times. 19 residents aged between 60 and 90 years of age are cared for in one of three houses in Handsworth-here the men find a home from home like no other.

Backing up Monica are her dedicated team, including support workers Ann McLoughlin and Eileen Teer.

Monica, who’s parents are from Kerry and Tipperary, said “What makes us unique is because the world in which we live today, with all the dividing lines, means that a lot of older Irish men have been left alone in unsuitable accommodation with no support from the professionals and are left to fend for themselves and I suppose have slipped through the net.”

‘We offer them a warm safe homely place, which they can call home-a home for life with people of their own culture.