St Vincent de Paul Society (SVP)
Summary of What the SVP does
The St Vincent de Paul Society (SVP) is an international Christian voluntary organisation providing direct practical assistance to anyone in need. Its main purpose is to offer the hand of friendship through befriending visits. It aims to relieve poverty in all its forms without differentiation on the grounds of race, creed, colour, ideology or gender. The SVP campaigns for social justice through partnerships and specialist networks so that individuals and families may be helped to develop more sustainable and tolerable lives. Through community shops, furniture stores, debt advice centres, back-to-work training and counselling, English language classes, holiday homes and camps, the work of members is extended locally, providing employment and volunteering opportunities. In addition, the Province of England and Wales is linked to SVP groups in India, Sudan, South Sudan, Granada, Guyana and Romania, through a Twinnage system whereby conferences (local branches) are twinned with conferences in a worldwide community of love and solidarity.
SVP Volunteer Opportunities in the Portsmouth Diocese
As a member of a local conference which meets regularly, a volunteer will have the opportunity
a) for further spiritual development, to receive visitors training, be a member of a team and be supported by other members;
b) to follow the example of Our Lord by being caring and compassionate;
c) to be respectful and non-judgemental, to spare some time each week helping people in need;
d) to be a member of an identifiable group within a parish which seeks to ‘find those who are forgotten’, to turn concern into action by befriending people and families in their own homes, in care homes, in hospitals and prisons and to give help to refugees;
e) to link with other organisations with similar purposes, to support SVP conferences overseas;
f) to be part of a worldwide Society with over 80,000 members.