VOLUNTEERING organisation the St Vincent de Paul Society (SVP) is celebrating the Society’s birthday with a week-long campaign to raise funds for its grassroots work fighting poverty with dignity.
The Tea With The SVP campaign, which runs from 19-23 April and coincides with National Tea Day on 21 April, invites the nation to enjoy a cuppa while raising funds for the SVP’s COVID Recovery Programme and its regional Community Support Projects. Throughout the week, donations to the COVID Recovery Programme will be matched up to a total of £5,000 by a corporate benefactor.
The SVP was founded on 23 April 1833 by a group of students in Paris led by Blessed Frédéric Ozanam to help impoverished people living in the slums of the French capital. The Society’s compassionate work is needed more than ever today as the world attempts to survive in the era of COVID with its attendant poverty and suffering.
The week of celebration surrounding the Tea With The SVP campaign also includes the birthday of the organisation’s patron saint St Vincent de Paul, who was born on 24 April 1581.
The highlights of the week are two webinars featuring two SVP patrons, ITN newscaster Julie Etchingham and critically acclaimed screenwriter and author Frank Cottrell-Boyce, at which SVP members, volunteers and the wider public can enjoy a cuppa and a chat with the two leading personalities and find out who their fantasy cuppa partner might be.
With Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s roadmap out of lockdown underway, many parts of the economy are opening up, including charity shops. Outdoor gatherings of either six people or two households will also be permitted, allowing people, within these guidelines, to enjoy a Tea With The SVP cuppa with friends, loved ones, or perhaps a neighbour.
The SVP is also keen to learn who your ‘fantasy cuppa’ guest would be. Would you like to talk spirituality with the Dalai Lama over a Darjeeling, discuss music with Elton John over an Earl Grey, or even catch up on the football over a mug of tea with Marcus Rashford? Join the conversation on social media using the hashtags #TeaWithTheSVP, #FantasyCuppa, and #Reconnect.
The SVP’s Community Support Projects and shops across England and Wales will be embracing Tea With The SVP with inventive shop window displays, tea-themed events and, of course, copious amounts of tea and cake.
SVP President Helen O’Shea said:
“The Tea With The SVP week is a welcome milestone in the nation’s path out of national lockdown – we can enjoy a cuppa with our friends, loved ones and neighbours outside, albeit in restricted numbers and socially distanced.
“The power of a chat over a cuppa should not be underestimated. We all need and deserve the chance to reconnect with friends and loved ones after the year we have just had. Listening to people in need is at the core of what the SVP does, and I’m sure it all starts with a cup of tea.
“The campaign also comes at a time when the most vulnerable and disadvantaged in our communities need our help most. Thanks to science, we are beginning to control COVID, however, the financial aftermath will taint a generation unless we act now, so please support our Tea With The SVP campaign and make a real difference to someone in your community.”
To join the Tea With The SVP webinar with Julie Etchingham on Wednesday 21 April at 11am, please visit: https://bit.ly/3fqkRLe.
To join Frank Cottrell-Boyce at his Tea With The SVP webinar at 2.45pm on Friday 23 April, please visit: https://bit.ly/39bp4yj.
For more information or to donate to the Tea With The SVP campaign, go to www.svp.org.uk/rise, @SVPEnglandWales (#SVPRiseChallenge) or telephone 020 7703 3030.