Join the SVP
SVP is the St Vincent de Paul society. It’s an international Christian charity which tackles poverty and disadvantage by providing practical assistance to people in need.
St Vincent de Paul spent most of his life helping the poor. He died in 1660, and the St Vincent de Paul Society was formed in the 19th century. It has been active in Wales since 1844 and now has ¾ million members worldwide.
Members of the SVP:
- Look for opportunities to help people in need
- Extend the hand of friendship to the most vulnerable
- Give material assistance to individuals or families in crisis
- Attend meetings of their local SVP group and through this, grow in spirituality themselves.
In England and Wales, 10,000 SVP members make over half a million visits each year, to more than 100,000 people. By law, members who make visits are required to have a criminal records check by the Disclosure and Barring service or DBS. The SVP across our two parishes currently consists of around a dozen regular members. There’s also the SVP shop, near Morrison’s in the Bayview Shopping Centre.
We help by providing food, furniture and practical assistance to people who need it. Every week, our members go in pairs to visit people who have asked for this. We offer friendship and companionship to them. We collect leftover food from supermarkets and distribute it to organisations in the area which feed the needy. We make and deliver some food parcels to individuals ourselves. We meet once a fortnight in the Presbytery at St Joseph’s Colwyn Bay, at 6.30pm on a Monday evening. We support two SVP groups in poorer countries through the SVP’s twinnage scheme.
There is also a special SVP initiative aimed at children known as the ‘mini-vinnies’. This is being introduced at St Joseph’s School. Within our parish and local community there will always be:
- Carers who need support
- People who need company and support due to bereavement
- Single parents with young families
- People who are struggling due to a change in circumstances who need short-term material support
- People living alone and isolated due to disability, physical or mental health problems or lack of transport
If we had more adult members, we could visit more people. Would you consider becoming an SVP volunteer? You don’t have to be Catholic to join. If you’d like to learn more about us, why not come along to one of our meetings on alternate Mondays at 6.30pm in the Presbytery. They last about an hour. There will be no pressure on you to join – but the more members we have, the more people we can help. It’s voluntary. Any commitment you make is up to you. Every little helps.
If you know someone who is lonely or housebound who might like a regular visit, please ask them first then, if they agree, get in touch with any of our members. People helped by the SVP don’t have to be Catholic.
You can help the SVP in other ways. We are always happy to receive donations of food or money – you can find collection boxes at the back of the Church. You can help by praying for our work. We would also love to see you at our next fundraiser – details will be appearing in the newsletter.
Thank you for all your support