The hugely popular Antrim GAA #SaffronAid Christmas Appeal has returned this year to support St Vincent de Paul’s Annual Appeal.
This return of #SaffronAid could not have come at a better time as SVP is receiving in excess of 2,000 requests for help a week in towns, cities and villages across the country.
Speaking about the fundraiser, Antrim GAA Public Relations Officer, Dan McConnell, said: “This year more than ever we feel that it is really important to help those facing difficult choices in our local clubs and communities. We’re asking those across the county to get behind the return of #SaffronAid this year and raise funds to purchase vouchers which can then be distributed locally for food, fuel and Christmas gifts by St Vincent de Paul volunteers.”
Mary Waide, Regional President of SVP for the North Region, said: “We are very worried that many families will continue to struggle into next year. In the coming months the cost of living crisis will hit different households in different ways particularly with the rising costs of food, energy and housing. Add in the cost of celebrating Christmas and you can see how difficult life is going to be for those on fixed incomes, whether that income comes from government benefits or from low-paid employment.
“Those hardest hit will include one parent-families, low income workers, low-income households in rural areas, the unemployed, those who are retired or people with disabilities and their carers. The most vulnerable in our communities are all facing impossible choices this Christmas which will undoubtedly stretch into the new year.
“We have been extremely grateful of the efforts of local GAA clubs across Antrim in previous years and we are absolutely thrilled that #SaffronAid has returned to help the most vulnerable this winter.
“Vouchers purchased by clubs in towns and villages throughout the county will enable SVP to give the gift of choice and when our volunteers go out to distribute the vouchers they will empower families to make their own decisions and prioritise whether they want to buy groceries, heat the home or buy gifts for under the Christmas tree.”
SVP is an international charity and the largest voluntary charity in Ireland. Every year it spends £3m in Northern Ireland and last year, SVP responded to tens of thousands of calls for assistance from members of the public.
The charity also manages Vincent’s shops across the province and for those interested in supporting SVP by becoming a member or volunteering, opportunities are available by visiting www.svp.ie, emailing email@example.com or by phoning 028 9035 1561.