HISTORY AND ORGANISATION OF THE SVP
The SVP was founded in 1831 by Frédéric Ozanam, a student in Paris, where there was terrible poverty (think, Les Miserables). The mood in Paris was strongly anti-religious and Frédéric decided to turn his faith into action with the help of like-minded students. One of these was an Englishman, George Wigley. George founded the first conference in London in 1844, where poverty was as desperate as in Paris (think, Oliver Twist). The society is named after St Vincent de Paul (1581-1660), born in the South of France and ordained priest at 19 years old. He undertook his priestly work with a focus on serving the poor and inspired the formation of communities of men and women with the same desire to relieve poverty.
The SVP today is an international organization with 800,000 members in 140 countries. In England and Wales, there are 10,000 members in 1000 local conferences, making about 500,000 visits to 100,000 people in a year and also help people with material needs.
Visiting somebody is an opportunity to be a good neighbour, to make friends with someone you might not have otherwise met, and to give someone else the opportunity to make a new friend. That other person might be elderly, unwell, or lonely.
Visits or phone calls can be weekly, monthly, or at other times, to suit the person visiting and the person receiving.
Caring and compassionate, respectful, non-judgmental, and a good listener.
Depends on home of person visited
- Age restrictions
Volunteers need to be over 18 for insurance purposes
- DBS check required
Enhanced DBS check for working with vulnerable people
- Equal Opportunities Policy
Unconditional positive regard for all people
- Expenses reimbursed
- Health and Safety Policy
National SVP policy
- Ongoing support
Support is from other members
- Training provided
- Volunteer induction
- Volunteer Policy
National SVP recruitment policy
- Volunteers covered by insurance
Public liability and personal injury
- Written role description
When can I volunteer?
Visits are arranged at a mutually suitable time.
Silverstone Heritage Ltd
Northamptonshire Libraries and Information Service: Daventry Library
Alzheimer's Society Northants