St Mary’s SVP Conference is in its 40th year and will be celebrating its anniversary later in the year. This vibrant, enthusiastic and enduring group of volunteers have maintained a service to their community supported by their faith and a commitment to the SVP mission to – “seek out and find those in need, to help them in a spirit of justice and to tackle the causes of poverty where we can”.
A major part of their work in 2018 is getting out into the community, visiting those who are lonely and lacking the social interaction of regular visits from family or friends. SVP member, Nora Hayes said this is important as the ‘poverty of loneliness’ is something not many people think about. To support Nora’s point, this country has the unwanted reputation of being the ‘loneliness capital’ of the world!
One of the many ways this SVP Conference encourages community spirit and cohesion is to run a monthly tea party in the Parish Hall at St Mary’s where those attending can “come and chat with old friends and make some new ones”.
Founder members of the Conference, Margaret Allen, who is also the Conference’s President, and Jean Kinnell, along with other members, help run this monthly event. Transport is provided to ferry their ‘guests’ and all the cakes are home baked. Whenever possible local schoolchildren attend to help out with serving and looking after those taking tea.
Like this Conference these monthly tea parties have been running for some time and the current members plan to keep doing so for many years to come. However, Margaret is very keen to encourage new members to join so they can continue the good work being done, so if anyone is interested they can contact her via St Mary’s.