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Lucy Irven – Diocesan Refugee Support Group Facilitator

We are delighted to welcome Lucy Irven, who will be joining us next week working for the Diocese of Leeds as the Refugee Support Group Facilitator.

Lucy comes to us after nearly three years as the Manager of Skipton Food Bank.

Based at Skipton Baptist Church, the Food Bank works with the District Council, local housing teams and a wide range of other support agencies to provide emergency food parcels to those struggling to make ends meet in Skipton and Craven. Lucy was responsible for administering the Food Bank, liaising with the partners, building the team of volunteers, and keeping in touch with a broad range of supporters, including church congregations, schools and businesses.

From listening to the stories of those coming to the Food Bank, Lucy learnt about the reality of their suffering: often a result of low income, benefit cuts, family crises or ill health. She understood the need to treat each visitor with respect and compassion, giving signs of hope and encouragement to those for whom life is difficult and uncertain.

Lucy joined the Justice and Peace group at St Stephen’s Parish not long after arriving in Skipton 20 years ago, helping with CAFOD appeals and generally raising awareness of the needs of the poor. Last year the group helped to organise a town collection of clothing, camping materials, tools and household items for refugees as part of their Year of Mercy commitment. For the last four years, Lucy has worked as Parish Administrator and she also enjoys helping with catechesis, music, and reading at Mass.

As an active member of Churches Together in Skipton and District for the last 15 years, Lucy is now working with the recently formed Craven Refugee Support Group, which is helping to settle several Syrian families into new homes.
Lucy lives in Skipton with her husband and their seven children as they come and go from school, university and work in London. She enjoys singing in a choir, going for walks and reading about spirituality.
“I am delighted to be working for the Diocese as Refugee Support Group Facilitator. I look forward to joining the team and working with the Parishes to develop their involvement in all the remarkable work being done to support refugees and asylum seekers in Leeds and Bradford.”