St Vincent’s Wirral opening offers hope to the community

A new community support centre has been officially opened in Birkenhead to help those affected by poverty, isolation, addiction and homelessness.

St Vincent’s Wirral, run and managed by the St Vincent de Paul Society (SVP), will provide a welcoming hub for the people of the Wirral.

Located on Grange Road West, the building hosts a foodbank and a daily afternoon drop-in café, which will reach out to people in need and offer signposting to local service providers who can provide specialised support.

The St Vincent’s Wirral team, led by Manager Kevin Hogan, includes parishioners, local SVP members and volunteers.

Kevin Hogan said: “The most important part of what St Vincent’s Wirral is about is connection and belonging.

"We want the people of our community and the agencies supporting them to feel that they belong here.

"We want everyone to call in a feel a part of what we are doing and contribute. St Vincent centres offer a warm welcome, a sense of family and belonging and a place to restore dignity.”

Blessing the new centre, Shrewsbury’s Bishop Mark Davies, said: “Remembering the poor has been an imperative from the dawn of our faith.

“It was true more than a century and a half ago when the St Vincent de Paul Society was founded and sadly it is still true today, and we are facing new forms of poverty in the 21st century.

“I am delighted to see this centre opened for the work of the St Vincent de Paul Society, which has been present in these streets for a century and more and now visible on the high street. I pray that we keep the spirit of that work and go alongside those in need and in any form of distress with practical help.”

Birkenhead MP Mick Whitley, who will be holding some of his weekly MP’s surgeries at St Vincent’s Wirral, adds: “The new St Vincent’s Wirral centre is in a great location and with the new space and facilities in the building I believe the SVP will be able to continue its incredibly valuable work. I know that the SVP’s national work has made an enormous difference to the lives of people who have fallen on hard times and have needed support to survive.”

• Pictures are: SVP Deputy CEO Kate Nightingale, SVP National President Helen O’Shea, Wallasey MP Angela Eagle, Wirral Mayor George Davies, Bishop Mark Davies, and Birkenhead MP Mick Whitley.

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