Fr Perry, St Vincent de Paul Spiritual Director, is pictured with SVP National President, Rose McGowan, and SVP Regional President for the North Region, Mary Waide, at the North Region Members Day. www.svpni.co.uk

St Vincent de Paul Annual Members' Day Returns

After almost three years, St Vincent de Paul reconnects with Members at Regional event as demand for support here heightens amid the cost of living crisis

St Vincent de Paul (SVP) has hosted its first regional Members’ Day since the beginning of the pandemic to discuss rising hardships in Northern Ireland communities and ways in which the charity can further support those in need with the theme of ‘Supporting One Another’.

Attended by 100 members, the event began with a Spiritual Reflection by the Society’s Spiritual Advisor Fr Perry and addressed everything from the rising cost of energy and food to the expected impossible choices families will be faced with this Christmas, as well as how best the charity can reach out to the community.

It was the first regional Members’ Day in almost three years for SVP and brought to attention how the charity will manage requests from those in need of support with ever-increasing costs, food shortages and the typical daily challenges which this winter will bring.

Mary Waide, SVP Regional President for the North Region, said: “It is wonderful to have so many members attending this Members’ Day after a very demanding two years.

“Everyone works better as a team and this Members’ Day provides us with an opportunity to join together for fellowship and to encourage and support one another. I believe our members have reaffirmed their commitment to the Society and are engaged about the job ahead. We are focused on the Society’s ethos of serving those who need our help the most as we face this current crisis.

“There is a real consciousness and sense among those attending that we will certainly have a tough winter to contend with, with more people to support as the current economic situation is felt by a wider demographic. With this in mind, we are also seeking more members and volunteers to help us carry out what we know will be an increased demand on our very dedicated volunteers.”

Rose McGowan, National President of SVP Ireland, addressed assembled delegates. She said: “It is important that SVP members in the North Region know that we support you wholeheartedly in the invaluable work that you do in your local communities throughout this Region. I am conscious that you will be visiting homes where the mother is putting her children’s needs before her own. Where your time, empathy and listening ear will meet the need. It is you who enable those you support to say that you listened, that they felt relieved and that you helped them feel they could sleep better. For that, and for the friendship you offer, I say ‘thank you’. Offering a little help at the right time can give people hope for the future. Sharing your time and skills will ultimately change lives forever.”

SVP members in Northern Ireland work in all communities to support people whatever their background, who are experiencing poverty and social exclusion, promoting self-sufficiency and working for social justice. 

SVP is an international charity and the largest voluntary charity in Ireland. SVP members in Northern Ireland work in all communities to support people whatever their background, who are experiencing poverty and social exclusion, promoting self-sufficiency and working for social justice. 

Every year SVP spends approximately £3 million to help those experiencing poverty in Northern Ireland. Last year, SVP responded to tens of thousands of calls for assistance from members of the public. 

If you would like more information about becoming a member of SVP, becoming a volunteer in your local Vincent’s shop or if you would like the Society’s help, please visit www.svpni.co.ukemail [email protected] or tel 028 9035 1561.

Last updated 2 months ago