Vinnies Winter Appeal starts in Canberra/Goulburn

As it launches its 2015 Winter Appeal, the St Vincent de Paul Society Canberra/Goulburn is expecting to be asked to provide more assistance to people in need than in the past two winter periods. Most people need help to cover the most basic needs such as food and energy.

President of the St Vincent de Paul Society Canberra/Goulburn, Frank Brassil says, “The St Vincent de Paul Society is concerned that high housing costs are forcing people on low incomes to compromise on other essentials such as food, paying bills or clothing. Once again we see that housing affordability is one of the critical drivers of poverty in modern day Australia. The waiting period for non-urgent housing in the ACT is over a year and people have to live somewhere in the meantime, often at unaffordable rent. Many people who have stable accommodation are only one crisis away from not having enough food for their families. We see people who have challenges of mental health, people with limited life skills and people who are the victims of all kinds of relationship failures. These are the people the Society helps every day. ”

Between June and August 2014, the St Vincent de Paul Society provided over 16,000 bed nights, 18,000 nutritious meals and over 2,900 instances of support through their Night Patrol Service.

The St Vincent de Paul Society is asking the community to dig deep and donate to the 2015 Vinnies Winter Appeal to make a real difference to the lives of people in their local community experiencing disadvantage, people who would otherwise be facing a long, harsh and cold winter.

Mr Brassil knows that the Canberra community is caring, especially for people in our own community. “The Canberra community is a generous and caring one.  The generosity of ordinary Australians helps us renew the spirit of people doing it tough. Throughout the winter season our volunteers across the region will be helping people rebuild their lives providing assistance with food, utility and phone bills, transport costs, clothing, blankets and accommodation,” says Mr Brassil.

Our Vinnies Centres are requesting extra donations of winter clothing items as the early start of the cold weather has seen much of the winter stock fly off the shelves.

With this year’s appeal, the Society hopes to raise at least $300,000 to support hundreds of people in Canberra and the southeast of New South Wales who are relying on Vinnies’ support during winter.

Please donate to the Vinnies 2015 Winter Appeal and help us continue to change lives every day.