Friday 15 December 2017

St Vincent de Paul makes new appeal as people seeking help double

Brian Hutton

ONE of Ireland's leading poverty charities is pleading for urgent donations after numbers seeking its help almost doubled in recent years.

Mairead Bushnell, national president of St Vincent de Paul (SVP), said she has never experienced such a scale of palpable worry and uncertainty among those struggling to survive.

"For so many people it is now a question of constantly having to make choices," she said.

"And when it comes to Christmas and the winter months the decisions become even harder."

Around 10,000 SVP volunteers are expected to make 150,000 visits to homes throughout Ireland between now and Christmas.

"In some cases it will just be a comforting shoulder to lean on or to advise on where to go for professional help with a specific problem," said Ms Bushnell.

"In many many cases it will be to ensure that children have a toy from Santa or that the families have sufficient food, heat and light to get over the festive season."

She said donations are badly needed to allow them help people suffering with severe financial difficulties.

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