Northern Ireland news

Society of St Vincent de Paul receiving three times as many calls for help this year compared to last

Santa pictured with Mary Waide, SVP Regional President for the North Region and Paula Brown, SVP Regional Manager, at the launch of the charity's Annual Appeal
Marie Louise McConville

The Society of St Vincent de Paul yesterday launched its Annual Appeal after revealing it has received three times as many calls for help this year compared to the last.

The charity said in the first week of December alone, more than 1,000 calls were received by its Belfast office.

Mary Waide, Regional President of St Vincent de Paul, North Region, said: "Some people are finding themselves being faced with the decision of whether to put food on the table, heat the home or buy presents for their children as Christmas approaches".

She said calls were also being received from people who had been "plunged into poverty and are living in extreme pressure due to rising energy costs, an increase in the cost of living, the reduction in Universal Credit and the impact of the pandemic".

She added: "We are accepting phone and online donations this year so SVP can provide families with vouchers, empowering them to prioritise what they choose to buy".

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