International charity, the Society of St Vincent de Paul, has revealed that the number of requests for help with fuel in February 2022 has increased by a staggering 497% on the same period last year and is 152% higher than the number of people seeking the Society’s support for fuel in January of this year.
While calls for help with electricity were the highest, these requests were closely followed for assistance with gas and home heating oil, from people across the Region.
Mary Waide, Regional President for the North Region of St Vincent de Paul, said: “In my 20 years as a volunteer with SVP I have not before witnessed the depth of poverty that such a diverse range of people are currently experiencing. I cannot stress enough the dire situation we are in and as the news reports are suggesting, we are not in for a respite to this situation any time soon.
“I am very concerned for the families who are every day having to make impossible choices of whether to put food on the table or heat the home. I would appeal to anyone fearing where they will find the money to fill the oil tank, top up the gas or put electricity in the meter to contact SVP rather than go without. SVP is non-judgemental and we offer help to anyone feeling vulnerable irrespective of their background, colour or creed.
“SVP volunteers are working tirelessly in local communities throughout the province doing their utmost to help anyone who finds themselves wanting during this bleak weather so please, please seek our help.”
If you would like help from SVP, please call t 028 9035 1561 or to make a donation, please visit www.svpni.co.uk.