st. patrick’s conference

The St Patrick’s Conference is the Newtownards branch of St Vincent de Paul, which aims to help those in urgent need in Newtownards & Comber area. The usual method of contacting us is via our helpline with our dedicated volunteer team of ten members seeking respond immediately and arranging a visit within days. By visiting clients in their own homes, we are able to assess their most urgent needs, taking into account their weekly income.

We offer the hand of friendship to the most vulnerable of our neighbour including the unemployed, single parents, low income families, the elderly, those with mental health illnesses, people living alone and those foreign nationals who have recently arrived in our community. By understanding their deeper needs we can provide support to enable them to help themselves on a long term basis.

Some visits are made to offer friendship, emotional support or referral to other organisations. Other people have been helped to tackle overwhelming debt. We visit many elderly and sick parishioners in residential homes, hospital and their own homes. During the year we would visit an average of 5 families per week in Newtowanrds and Comber.

We organise a Christmas Dinner for around 100 elderly citizens each year and the annual Christmas Toy Appeal resulted in our helping 43 families with 55 hampers being delivered last year.  To help support this year’s appeal please leave toys at Gordon’s Chemist Regent Street Newtownards, Tesco’s in the Square Comber or Tim Martin, Estate Agents, Comber.

There is usually also a Summer Outing for our senior citizens to a destination such as Ballycastle or Carlingford which many of our regulars tell us that these are the two social highlights of their year as they seldom get to go anywhere else.

The St. Patrick’s Conference is always willing to welcome more volunteers – so why not put your faith in action and become a volunteer. The Society is open to everyone. There are no special skills required. There is only a Christian interest in helping people in need. A few hours a week can make a real difference in your community.

As Mother Teresa stated: “It’s not how much we give, but how much love we put into giving”