Now SVP volunteers forced to ask for aid
HARD pressed volunteers with St Vincent de Paul are asking for financial support from their own organisation.
A fund to assist members who find themselves in economic difficulty has been set up in a further sign of the dire economic situation.
In response to the financial pressures facing volunteers, members were informed they should contact the organisation to seek assistance if they find themselves with money woes.
SVP has assured them that their work for the society does not preclude them from seeking help.
The society has assisted volunteers in the past but has now implemented a more organised response given the numbers seeking aid.
In a document circulated among SVP conferences in the capital and seen by the Herald, the society's Dublin Region president Andy Doogue told members a fund had been established.
He stated: "(We) have set up a small fund for members in need.
"The fund will be overseen by a sub-committee of the Dublin Board.
"It is important that all members understand this is a confidential service and we guarantee a sensitive and absolutely confidential service to members."
Describing it as a "highly sensitive and important issue", Mr Doogue highlighted the SVP's obligation to look after any society member and their family who are in need.
"The current economic recession has highlighted that anybody can find themselves experiencing hardship and this has led to a growth in numbers of SVP members in need," he stated.
The SVP carries out 400,000 home visitations every year across the country, providing vital assistance to people in difficulty.
A spokesman told the Herald that people usually seek help to pay unexpected bills or food, energy and education costs.
The amounts dispensed are "relatively small" in each case, he added.
In a sign of the times, the society is now helping people who were previously financial supporters of the charity, the spokesman said.