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Women of Irish Heritage - North of England

This newly formed voluntary and non-profit Network is being

developed by Fréa to bring together professional women of Irish heritage

in the North of England to support each other and celebrate their

culture through events and experiences and in doing so support the

vital work of the Fréa partner charities (*). The Network is being set up in

association with The Ireland Funds.

As the Irish proverb states:

‘There is no strength without unity – Ní neart go cur le chéile’

To find out more about the Network,

please email dorothy.lynch@frea.org.uk 

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Our Mission

To be inclusive of all professional women of Irish heritage in the North of England to help them celebrate their common heritage through events and to develop a network of professional women with shared interests.

Our Vision

To grow the Network to create a community for professional women of Irish Heritage in the North of England.

Introducing the Consul General of Ireland for the North of England
Sarah Mangan

At our recent launch event, held on International Women's Day 8th March 2022, we were joined by some amazing guest speakers and a wonderful group of Women of Irish Heritage.

  The event was launched and hosted by Sarah Mangan, Consul General of Ireland for the North of England.  In this video, we caught up with Sarah to hear about her work and passion for our new network. 

Women of Irish Heritage:
12th May Networking event

On Thursday 12th May 2022, we were thrilled to host our second Women of Irish Heritage networking event with our fantastic guest speaker: Irish businesswoman Susan Whelan, CEO, Leicester City Football Club!

Bringing together professional Women of Irish Heritage (WIH) from across the North of England is the objective of WIH and, we are delighted with the response to the launch and inaugural networking event.

Advisory Board Members

Women of Irish Heritage Network is overseen by a voluntary Advisory Board and the day-to-day operations are managed by Fréa’s Sustainability Lead, Dorothy Lynch.

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Aileen Wiswell MBE
Vice Chairperson

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Aileen has had a long career in the Civil Service spanning over 41 years working in many roles and many different departments. She currently works for the Cabinet Office Estates team with the responsibility of move/exit plans across Central London buildings. 
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Carla Stockton-Jones

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Carla is the UK Managing Director at Stagecoach. Carla joined Stagecoach in February 2020 as Regional Director for South, became interim UK Managing Director in May, and took on the role permanently in October 2020. The main priorities are to lead Stagecoach
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Dorothy Lynch

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Dorothy Lynch is the Sustainability Lead for Fréa where she combines the fundraising activities of three partner charities (Irish Community Care, Irish Community Care Manchester, and Leeds Irish Health and Homes) to maximise the sustainability of each organisation
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Katie Jemmett

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Katie is Director of the Great Britain chapter of The Ireland Funds, a worldwide philanthropic network of friends of Ireland.
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Rachael Loftus MBE

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Rachael works as the Head of Regional Health Partnerships at the West Yorkshire and Harrogate Health and Care Partnership.
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Ruth McCarthy

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Ruth is an experienced real estate lawyer and co-founder of the real estate consultancy, SPI Capital.

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Sarah-Louise McCartney

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Sarah-Louise is a marketing professional and has worked in the construction and building products industry for over 22 years. 

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Theresa Grant OBE

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Theresa is Relationships Director with Municipal Partners Ltd. Working with Local Authorities to deliver high-value outcomes for communities. Prior to this role, Theresa had a local government career spanning over four decades in both Ireland and the United Kingdom, with 12 years as CEO.

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Be part of WIH

If you would like to become part of an exciting journey to build up this North of England Women of Irish Heritage Network, then please sign up to our mailing list via Fréa below or if you would like further information on the Network please contact Dorothy Lynch, Sustainability Lead, Fréa.

Email: dorothy.lynch@frea.org.uk

Tel: 07519126835

Looking forward to hearing from you…


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Fréa brings together three independent and long-established Irish charities. All based in the North of England, they have a stable and unique partnership with shared values, experience, and mutual respect, Irish Community Care (based in Liverpool delivering services across the Northwest), Irish Community Care Manchester, and Leeds Irish Health and Homes. The work of the three charities focuses on improving the health and well-being of vulnerable Irish/people of Irish heritage of all ages across the North of England. Fréa empowers these charities to become more proactive, resilient, and self-sustaining through combined clustering, collaboration and shared skill sets which help decrease overheads and build diverse and sustainable funding streams. Fréa thereby enables the charities to continue to provide essential support to the vulnerable Irish in the North of England through Care, Culture and Community.  

Fréa is from the Irish word ‘fréamh’ meaning ‘root’ and reflects how as charities we are anchored and strengthened by our shared heritage, which, through careful cultivation and ambitious growth, enables us to flourish.