The aim of the St Vincent de Paul Society is to tackle poverty in all its forms through the provision of practical assistance to those in need.
The concept of need is broader than financial hardship, so visiting the sick, the lonely, the imprisoned form a large proportion of the Society's work.
The Society operates in small groups, called "Conferences", based on local parishes which meet regularly and their work is usually concentrated on local visiting.
However over the years, the SVP has responded to social changes, provides a range of additional services depending on the prevailing need. Today, these “Special Works” include shops, resource centres, provides accommodation to vulnerable people and various holiday schemes amongst other things.