St Vincent de Paul: Christmas is not the same for everyone

It expects to receive an estimated 125,000 calls this year

St Vincent de Paul: Christmas is not the same for everyone

File photo

The St Vincent de Paul charity says it expects 50,000 families to seek its help over the winter months.

It is launching its annual appeal on Wednesday, with the message that Christmas is not the same for everyone.

The society is seeking donations to help families and individuals in need in communities across Ireland.

SVP is also wants to draw attention to the fact that it helps people not just over Christmas, but also throughout the year at times when families find themselves in financial difficulties.

SVP national president, Kieran Stafford, says: "A donation to SVP at this time of the year can sometimes be sufficient to ensure that individuals and families don’t slip into long-term poverty.

"While our immediate concern is to help families avoid an empty Christmas, our longer term focus is on helping families to break the cycle of poverty".

Commenting on the current level of requests for help, he says: "Despite improvements in sections of the economy calls for help to St Vincent de Paul remain very high.

"We expect to receive an estimated 125,000 calls again this year.

"Because austerity and poverty no longer figure in news headlines it is easy to forget that there are still thousands of people who continue to live in hardship and with limited income.

"Irish society cannot and must not accept that living in, or on the verge of, poverty is normal, whether that manifests itself in going without food, resorting to moneylenders, struggling to pay school and other education costs, rough sleeping, living in emergency accommodation or living in rented accommodation which is cold, damp, dilapidated or overcrowded."