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400,000 visits are being made each year by SVP

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RTE presenter, Ryan Tubridy, sings with children from St Margarets National School at the St Vincent De Paul 2014 Annual Appeal. Picture credit: Damien Eagers 19/11/2014

RTE presenter, Ryan Tubridy, sings with children from St Margarets National School at the St Vincent De Paul 2014 Annual Appeal. Picture credit: Damien Eagers 19/11/2014

RTE presenter, Ryan Tubridy, sings with children from St Margarets National School at the St Vincent De Paul 2014 Annual Appeal. Picture credit: Damien Eagers 19/11/2014

The Society of St Vincent de Paul (SVP) is making 400,000 visits to homes every year - and the number of people seeking its support shows no sign of decreasing.

The stark figures emerged as the charity launched its annual appeal yesterday.

Dublin footballer Dennis Bastick and Late Late Show host Ryan Tubridy attended the event at the charity's Dublin headquarters, with children from St Margaret's School Choir providing the music.

The charity expects its volunteers to visit around 140,000 people throughout the country between now and Christmas.

SVP president Geoff Meagher said it is at times like Christmas with the added financial strain that people begin to struggle.

"Most of those who seek the support of St Vincent de Paul are struggling week-in and week-out on a basic minimum income, he said.

"It's when they encounter an unexpected cost or period when additional expenditure occurs, such as Christmas, that they critically need support."

The SVP continues to make in the region of 400,000 calls a year to homes, spending around €40m on helping those in need.

This amount has increased by 117pc in comparison with previous years when money needed to fund direct assistance amounted to around €23m.

generous

Calls have also rocketed since 2009, with an increase of around 100pc in pleas for help being put to the SVP by those in need.

Mr Meagher appealed for people to help out as much as they could this Christmas, reflecting on previous years when Irish people had been "hugely generous".

"We depend entirely on donations from the public and corporate donors for this work, and thankfully the generosity of the Irish people to SVP over the years has been outstanding," he said.

hnews@herald.ie


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