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15th Nov 2017

The St Vincent de Paul will receive tens of thousands of calls this Christmas

'Job loss, cut back in services, emigration, and austerity...'

Gillian Fitzpatrick

We all want Christmas to be a special time of year.

That doesn’t necessarily mean a load of pricey gifts for the kids, but of course it’s nice to be able to host friends and relatives, have a glass of wine, and treat your family.

However, the festive season can also be brutally tough – indeed, the St Vincent de Paul says it expects to receive some 50,000 calls for help from Irish people this Christmas.

The charity launched its annual appeal on Wednesday (with Ryan Tubridy also helping out) and is urging us all to remember those who are less well off.

For 2017, the SVP message is simple: “Christmas is not the same for everyone,” and it is now seeking donations so it can help give families food, heat, and toys.

Recently, the charity highlighted research that examined the devastating impact of economic recession in Ireland.

It said that those in more rural areas, disadvantaged communities, and one-parent households have been more negatively impacted.

“SVP volunteers in small towns and more rural areas are still seeing the consequences of job loss, cut back in services, emigration and austerity for struggling households,” it said.

“These communities are unable to take advantage of the recent economic improvements due to poor social infrastructure, such as a lack of public transport, broadband and key services.”

It furthermore stated: “One parent families are the largest group assisted by SVP and we have seen first-hand the impact austerity and recession has had on one parent families.

“The cuts and changes to the One Parent Family Payment has also made parenting alone more difficult and created additional barriers to education and employment.”