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Advent appeal launched by Caritas Salford

Ellen Teague - The Tablet - Tue, Dec 20th 2022

Advent appeal launched by Caritas Salford

Boarded up houses in Salford.- File pic by Russell Hart / Alamy

Caritas Salford has launched an Advent appeal to support local people facing acute crisis.

Caritas Salford, a member of Caritas Social Action Network – the bishops’ agency promoting domestic social action – has made alleviating the impacts of the cost of living crisis a priority.

The charity reported that forced eviction, having to choose between eating or staying warm, facing a Christmas alone or sleeping rough “will be the reality for thousands of people in Greater Manchester and Lancashire this festive season”.  A short guide has been produced with suggestions of practical action and parishes have been in touch about supporting people in their community during the cost of living crisis.

Director Patrick O’Dowd said a key part of Caritas Salford's role is working with other Catholic agencies, as well as local authorities, to try and ensure the needs of the people are met: “We have an extraordinary relationship with other Catholic partners – the Saint Vincent de Paul Society) being a prime example of that – and other Caritas agencies that are in neighbouring dioceses as well and charities like Out There who operate from Trafford local authority, working with the families of prisoners.

“So there's a really strong network across the Catholic charities and parishes and schools community in our diocese and I think our role is to try and animate that and where we can provide support and assistance to sign-post out to other agencies who can try to work with parishes as well.” He said the Caritas Bishop’s Fund “is available for people to make applications and they are reviewed very quickly”.

He said there were hundreds of thousands of children in Salford Diocese lacking the bare essentials, with families plunged into precarious positions. Even households with one member working are struggling to make ends meet. “Research from the University of Loughborough has highlighted that about 228,000 children, we believe living in Salford diocese, are living in poverty. It’s really tragic, considering people are working and yet they don't have enough income to be able to support themselves or their families.”

Caritas Salford is supporting advocacy by the bishops and their department for social justice and the national Caritas Social Action Network, based on Catholic Social Teaching, to ensure that priority is given in governmental tax and welfare policy to protecting the most vulnerable.

Find out more here

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