Iris Charles was born in 1907 and her family home was in Churchill Terrace, Ballsbridge. She was a teacher before she married Dr. Hal Charles. He was a G.P. in the area in the late 1940s. On returning from a sick call, her husband remarked that it was not a doctor the patient needed but someone to talk to, so Iris Charles decided to do something to help the elderly. She and some friends organised coffee mornings, raised some money and began visiting elderly people who lived on their own.

In March 1952 they formed a Committee under the auspices of the Irish Red Cross and they called themselves the Sandymount/Ringsend Old Peoples' Group. Iris Charles and her Committee were very anxious to get a premises in the area where the old people could meet and socialise. In 1960 they heard that the AOH Hall in Newbridge Avenue, owned by the Ancient Order of Hibernians, was to be sold to a charitable body. The committee succeeded in buying the AOH Hall and in March 1962 an Old People's Club was opened. As the years passed the activities in the Centre increased and many volunteers gave of their time to the Centre.

The name of the Centre was changed in July 1989 from the Sandymount/Ringsend Old Peoples Group and to the Iris Charles Centre. The Centre has always been entirely run by volunteers and the Committee formed in 1952 has been in continuous existence since that time.

Up to 2017 the Centre operated under the auspices of the Irish Red Cross. This allowed the Centre to use the Irish Red Cross charity (CHY) number and operate as a charitable organisation. Since 2017 the Centre has its own CHY number and is registered with the Charities Regulator.

In 2022 the centre was renamed the Sandymount Community Centre as part of the committee's vision to be a vibrant local community centre to connect and bring people together.

About the Centre

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