The Society of St Vincent de Paul (SVP) has launched a special appeal for donations as it predicts a wave of calls for help in the coming months.
In the first three months of this year, SVP received more than 200 calls every week from individuals and families struggling to make ends meet on a reduced or inadequate income.
Mary Waide, SVP Regional President, said; “To continue to support those who seek our help we need the kindness of the public who have responded generously in the past.
“We need that generosity now more than ever.
“People across the country who have lost their businesses and lost their livelihoods have reached the end of their tether and are calling SVP for the first time. In addition to that those who we may have supported in the past but were now standing on their own two feet have been completely knocked to the floor again by this pandemic.
“We hear a lot about people saving during the pandemic and the millions of pounds waiting to be spent when the economy opens fully. But that does not apply to the thousands of people who are seeking help from SVP and the many more we expect in the coming months.
“We recently received a phone call from a father who lost his job of 30 years after the business he worked for folded under the weight of the coronavirus and all that came with it. When he at last called SVP, he told us: — ‘I’ve just £10 in my pocket until next week, I don’t know how I’m going to buy food for my family.’ You could hear the pain in his voice.”
She added: “We called on the generosity of the public a little over a year ago when the first of the lockdowns meant people lost their livelihoods overnight,” continues Mary. “It was a call they heard with their heart. You won’t see it but right now in communities across Northern Ireland even more families are now suffering through this pandemic. We need the generosity of the local people again to help their neighbours get through this.”
Ways to donate: Online: svp.ie and nominate your local area. By phone: 028 9075 0161 and nominate your local area. By post: to SVP, 196/200 Antrim Road, Belfast, BT15 2AJ, cheques made payable to ‘Society of St. Vincent de Paul’.