In the Cork Region SVP is the biggest charitable organisation helping those in need in Cork and has been present in the region since 1846. Throughout the City and County 94 local Conference units and over 800 members, composed of volunteers based in local parishes, work on various projects including–
- home visitation, providing financial and practical help,
- assisting with educational support, helping students,
- caring for the homeless in Cork, through two hostels.
- hospital and prison visitation.
Wherever there is need the Society attempts to help. Through the generosity of the public, the SVP raises funding for this work by Church Gate collections, through flag days, from bequests received in Wills and other generous donations. In the past year around €4million has been spent on assistance to those in need in Cork, helping to provide food, fuel and direct financial support as well as giving help in other ways.
Home visitation, providing financial and practical help
Home visitation is the cornerstone of the organisation. Through person to person contact SVP is committed to respecting the dignity of those we assist and thus to foster their self-respect. In the provision of material and other support we assure confidentiality at all times and try to establish relationships based on trust, friendship and respect. SVP believes it is not enough to provide short-term material support and therefore tries to achieve self-sufficiency in the longer term and the sense of self-worth that this provides.
Assisting with educational support, helping students
The long-term way out of poverty and social exclusion for many families is increased participation in education. By providing encouragement, information and sometimes the resources SVP tries to contribute to the quality of educational opportunities open to all the family.
SVP caring for the homeless in Cork
SVP has joined with other agencies in the local campaign against homelessness in Cork. Focus Ireland, Simon, and Threshold are all involved under the title ‘Make Room’. All these organisations place emphasis on homelessness in their day-to-day operations on a national and local level, by pooling efforts it is felt more can be done.
SVP working in and around Cork has made a huge difference to the lives of many families, enabling them to move from needing a handout to managing without us, the aim being to break the cycle of poverty which despite Ireland’s prosperity many families still find themselves in today.