A Year of Reflection for the SVP

Image of people

The St Vincent de Paul Society (England and Wales) is celebrating the many successes of the past year – from securing funds for the refurbishment of our holiday home, to Young Vincentians travelling to Lisbon, and the launch of our Christmas Appeal – there is a lot to praise. 

Taking a quick glance over the past 365 days through numbers, the SVP have: 

  • Made a total of 303,000 visits or calls to those who reached out for help 
  • Befriended more than 44,500 people by offering emotional and practical support 
  • Provided 80,000 meals in centres across England and Wales, supported 19,000 people through our foodbanks and given out more than 46,000 meals 
  • Given more than £91,000 out through the Cost of Living Support Fund 
  • Hosted activity groups for more than 14,750 people 
  • Provided essential furniture on 3,400 occasions 
  • Advised 5,400 people on debt, immigration, housing and other issues 
  • Provided more than £70,000 through the Ukraine Disaster fund which supported humanitarian needs to people in Romania and Ukraine 

National President of the SVP, Elain Heyworth, says how despite a hard year for all, the SVP has a lot to celebrate: 

“It has been yet another hard year for many, and it has been no different for the St Vincent de Paul Society,” she explains. 

“We have had a sharp increase in the number of people who are needing the help of the SVP, and so we have had to all work harder than ever to make this year count. For so many, the Cost of Living Crisis is still crippling families in the most deprived areas of England and Wales, and it has been made clear that our work is needed now more than ever. 

“The objective of the Society is to relieve material and emotional poverty through real interaction and involvement through our broad range of services.   

“Looking back over the past 12 months, we can confidently say that our work is changing lives of the many, and we will continue all of the hard work we have done this year from front-line poverty relief to bringing about change right at the source through our Social Policy work.” 

Last year Russian forces invaded Ukraine, which continues to leave devastation in it’s wake. To help those affected by the fighting, the SVP England and Wales Disaster Fund provided £61,000 to help those in Romania to support neighbouring Ukraine.  

Back in March, the SVP’s Youth Team, took young people to the largest youth Catholic event in England and Wales – Flame. Director of Young Vincentians & Youth Services, Sarah Barber, said: “It was amazing to see our young SVP volunteers engaging the crowds and sharing the message that the SVP is reaching out to serve those in need in our communities.” 

A first-of-its-kind partnership came to fruition back in the Summer with His Majesty’s Prison & Probation Service working with the charity on the Grand Avenues project in Cardiff. Through a series of workshops, this project re-imagines how probation services can work within the local community to stop reoffending, and to help within the local community at the same time. 

The social policy work that the SVP undertakes has become an integral part of the charity’s structure to ensure that change comes about at a government level. Members of the charity in Telford, Shropshire provided an evening meal for around 122 Afghan people. The food was prepared by a traditional Pakistani chef, and as it was during Ramadan, the foo was served in the evening.