SVP - Many families facing real hardship again this Christmas

Story by Gavan Becton

Wednesday, 5th December, 2018 2:09pm

SVP - Many families facing real hardship again this Christmas

SVP have launched Christmas appeal

Despite the apparent uplift in the economy, many Navan families and individuals are turning to the town’s ever busy St Vincent de Paul Society (SVP) for assistance, with the local charity currently spending over €6,000 a week helping those in need.
Navan SVP holds its annual Christmas Churchgate collection on Saturday and Sunday next to coincide with National SVP Week with funds going to help these families.
According to SVP Area President Stephen Flattery, these include many households which continue to face crippling debt burdens, as well as everyday expenses.
He said this situation can be particularly stressful for the unemployed or those in ill health who may be living on welfare benefits. In 2018 the six SVP conferences (branches) in the district spent €320,000 and in the coming year Mr Flattery said expenditure may well exceed that if austerity again tightens its grip.
About 40 Navan SVP volunteers visit up to 900 families annually to give assistance and friendship each year. They are also particularly aware of the scourge of homelessness and are very attentive to the needs of the 30 or so men in emergency accommodation in Navan.
Navan SVP’s major focus is on the provision of help for essentials, such as food, education and energy bills. In many cases such support allows low income families to meet increasing rental costs.
“People want to give their families a nice Christmas, but there are some who literally can’t afford to put food on the table,” said Mr Flattery. "It is still a fact that for many people it can take just one small problem to tip them into crisis.”
He thanked the public for their unfailing generosity and said that while the Christmas collection contributes hugely to Navan SVP funds, they greatly rely on the public’s support for their four shops in the town.
A food drive in conjunction with Tesco’s in Navan Town Centre on Saturday and Sunday next will afford shoppers another opportunity to help the local SVP. Customers are asked to buy a few extra items and drop them into a trolley which will be manned by SVP volunteers at the exit to the supermarket. The SVP will also hold a collection in the centre on December 21st and 22nd .