Mind Yourself arose directly from the work of the London Irish Women’s Centre. LIWC was founded in 1983 and secured its own premises in Stoke Newington in 1984 with the help of a grant from the GLC. For the next 28 years it delivered the following range of programmes and services to women of Irish birth and descent including Irish Travellers:
Advice on benefits and housing
Heritage and cultural programmes including language, music and literature
Advocacy on issues of importance to Irish women from 1984-2011, both in Ireland and the UK, domestic violence, equality of opportunity, legalisation of divorce, abortion and homosexuality, and cessation of strip searching in Northern Ireland prisons
A defining ethos of LIWC was advocating for equality for women in all aspects of their lives. In 2011 the Trustees undertook a strategic review of the organisation in the context of the changing demographics of the Irish community, and the new political and financial climate. Following this review, which included an assessment of the unmet need in the Irish community, the Trustees decided to redirect the organisation.
The new direction included renaming the organisation Mind Yourself, including men as beneficiaries of the work, and focussing the work on reducing health inequalities in the Irish community.
Mind Yourself is grateful to the vision of the founder and early members of LIWC whose foresight has allowed the organisation to grow and develop in a new direction hopefully to the benefit of the Irish community.