Celebrating the Power of Changing Lives

We’re celebrating what the SVP does every day for people in need of help, in a beautiful new book called ‘Changing Lives’.

This collection of real life stories shows how our members make a difference to the lives of vulnerable people and families. And it’s out now.

The 120 page full colour collection of warmth and wisdom provides over one hundred examples of how we’ve brought practical and emotional assistance to people at crisis point.

Stories were collected during the bicentenary year and cover the spectrum of poverty and disadvantage and are organised around themes of isolation, deprivation, food poverty, crime, asylum, homelessness and addiction among others.

Read what happened to Mr Mercer, an elderly gentleman who lived on his own and spent every evening watching TV soaps. When SVP members arrived at his house to pay him a visit, they worried that they were interrupting his TV viewing. Mr Mercer answered the door, leant his forehead against the wall of his hall and began to sob quietly. When asked if he was ok, he said, “Yes, yes. I just thought no-one was going to come and see me tonight.”

There is also the story of Paul, a man in his mid-40s whose life fell apart after a series of misfortunes and relationship breakdowns. As a result he had been forced to live in doorways and car parks. The local SVP group helped him set up a new home for himself and scoured countless charity shops so that they could get all his basic necessities. This took several months, but eventually Paul was settled in his new home – warm and comfortable.

SVP Patron Cardinal Vincent Nichols says: “I welcome the publication of these case studies, under the title Changing Lives. They will help us to appreciate the profound needs in our society and the creative ways in which they are being met by the Society of St Vincent de Paul.”

SVP patron Ann Widdecombe says: “Whether it’s loneliness, need or homelessness, the SVP has been changing lives for 180 years! This book tells just a few of the heart-warming stories of its magnificent achievement.”

SVP Patron John Battle says: “These testimonies call out for more compassionate support and increased action for justice in our own society and for more dedicated SVP members.”

You can support the SVP and celebrate what we do, by requesting a copy of Changing Live which is available for a suggested donation of £5 plus postage and packaging. All proceeds will go towards the valuable charitable work of the SVP, helping alleviate the suffering of people in need. Call 020 7703 3030 or click here to download a form to complete to order a copy.