The Catholic Church across Yorkshire's historic West Riding since 1878

The Catholic Church across Yorkshire's historic West Riding since 1878

Support your Parish SVP and Give the Gift of Kindness this Christmas

Your parish St Vincent de Paul Society (SVP) is asking for your help to ‘give the gift of kindness’ this Christmas as the SVP’s Christmas Kindness Appeal is launched nationally across England and Wales.

The appeal, which launches on ‘Giving Tuesday’ (30 November) and runs throughout December, will raise money to support the work at grassroots level of the SVP’s 10,000 volunteers throughout England and Wales, and thanks to the generosity of some of the Society’s major donors, all donations received to the Christmas Kindness Appeal will be matched pound-for-pound up to a total value of £45,000.

SVP National President Helen O’Shea says: ‘Every Christmas many of us spend time searching for the perfect gift to give our loved ones, and all too often end up giving them something they don’t really need, or perhaps even want. But make a donation to the SVP this Christmas and you can be sure you are giving someone who has very little exactly what they need most. We know that is true because we spend time with every person we help and support, listening to them, understanding their situation and finding out how we can best help them cope with the challenges in their lives. So, whether it’s a piece of furniture in a child’s bedroom, an emergency food parcel for a hungry family, or a cup of tea with a lonely older person, we’ll turn every donation into the perfect gift. When you donate to the SVP this year, you can be sure you will be giving the perfect gift to someone who really, really needs it, because you will be giving the gift of kindness.’

The Christmas Kindness Appeal will fund the work of the SVP in parishes and communities across England and Wales. The SVP’s support for anyone in need encompasses everything from food parcels and hot meals to befriending, the provision of furniture, and advice with benefits.

Contact your own parish priest to find out how best you can support and donate to your local parish SVP and help local people in need. To donate to the SVP’s national Christmas Kindness Appeal please visit

Though the national economic landscape is stabilising, millions are struggling to cope as they are left behind financially following the end of the £20-a-week rise in Universal Credit. Low pay and the rising cost of living is increasing incidences of in-work poverty, and the inevitable toll this takes on mental health. According to figures from the Legatum Institute, poverty in the UK is a “significant long-term issue”. The figures suggest that prior to the pandemic, more than one in five people in the UK (22%) lived in families in poverty, which equates to 14.4 million people. The situation is predicted to get worse for millions, and with official Government figures on poverty not expected until 2022, the harsh reality of poverty in the UK is brought alive through the stories of people experiencing hardship first-hand, including the thousands of SVP members and staff providing essential support on the ground.

The St Vincent de Paul Society is an international Catholic volunteering organisation dedicated to providing practical assistance to those in need. Founded in 1833, it now has 800,000 volunteers operating in 150 countries worldwide, The SVP supports anyone regardless of background, their past, ideology, ethnicity, race, faith, age, gender, or however many times they ask for help.