The Society of St Vincent de Paul has launched its Annual Appeal and is expecting requests for help in the run up to Christmas to be higher than any witnessed in recent years, as already calls for help have tripled on those received last year. In the first week of December, more than 1,000 calls were received by the Society’s Belfast office alone.
The charity says families are facing “impossible choices”. Mary Waide, Regional President of St Vincent de Paul, North Region, said: “As well as taking more than 1,000 calls in our Belfast office alone last week, people have also been contacting us by email, phoning our Derry office and calling our almost 100 helpline numbers in local communities across Northern Ireland.
“Some people are finding themselves being faced with the decision of whether to put food on the table, heat the home or buy presents for their children as Christmas approaches. While a third of children are living in poverty in Northern Ireland, we are not just being asked for help by people trying to make ends meet on low incomes, we are also receiving requests from people who have been plunged into poverty and are living in extreme pressure due to rising energy costs, an increase in the cost of living, the reduction in Universal Credit and the impact of the pandemic.”
SVP are accepting phone and online donations this year so the charity can provide families with vouchers, empowering them to prioritise what they choose to buy.
To receive help from SVP, please visit www.svpni.co.uk
If you would like to make a donation to the SVP Annual Appeal, please call SVP on tel 028 9075 0161 or visit www.svp.ie/nigifts