The Past 16 Years.
Shortly after Fr. Barnett arrived as our Parish Priest, he suggested we have a Saint Vincent de Paul conference here at St. Mary’s and so this year we celebrated our 16th year.
We held our inaugural meeting in the parish hall on 6th October 1999.
There were 10 founding members of which only George and Emily remain. Currently there are 3 other members.
Over the years we have helped a lot of local people in our community, mostly families who have found themselves on hard times through no fault of their own. The most common cause has been due in some way to benefit system reforms and its failures.
Since the financial crash in 2008 and the subsequent recession, people have had to tighten their belts and donations to all charities are down considerably. SVDP is no exception. This at a time of greatest demand due mainly to the various Benefit Reforms and especially the sanctions.
We have had contacts in all the schools and at various times been able to help, mostly with clothing and shoes.
We also have contacts in “New Start”, “Blythswood” and other agencies /organisations who we use when looking for furniture/beds/mattresses etc.
As a rule we never give money directly. Instead we give vouchers or a conference member does a shop and then gives/delivers to the recipient.
With the blessing of Fr. Barnett our conference helped set up the “Nairn Foodbank”. He allowed the use of the parish hall and Emily, along with other parishioners are regular volunteers. Once again, the changes to the benefit system and especially the sanctions imposed have led to enormous genuine hardship which we try to identify and help.
It is timely to give you a report on the things we have done and how we disburse the money you very kindly give us week after week and for which, on behalf of the many people you have helped, a big thank you.
A small booklet has been produced which gives a better insight to all our work and activities and a summary financial statement for the last 16 years which will I’m sure be of great interest to you all.
These are available at the back of the church as you leave, one copy for each household.
As you will realise, especially after reading the booklet,
We are desperately short of active members.
If you can help in any way, please contact George, Emily, Sandy or Angela or Nicky for Forres.
If you are not able to commit to full membership, for whatever reason, how about becoming an Associate member?
Your time is the greatest gift you can give, and giving just a little of that time can make a massive difference.
Just offering to take a housebound/elderly person from time to time, to/from church, for doctor’s appointments, shopping etc. can make a big difference.
Several of you, I know, already do this as good neighbours, Why not extend it just a little.
Finally, you can also help by remembering us in your prayers
and last of all, but vitally important,
Your continued support in the collection box.