St Vincent de Paul Society: Policy Updates

In addition to its work on the ground in communities, the St Vincent de Paul Society also seeks to empower, advocate, and campaign for people living in poverty of any kind and those facing discrimination. Through this, they seek to influence policy makers and public opinion from a position of authority backed by evidence from their frontline services. See below for updates on the most recent campaigns they have been involved in:

From the frontline: our latest Cost of Living publication
In January this year we launched our latest publication, ‘Stories from the frontline: the real price of the cost of living crisis’. The publication offers a snapshot of the cost of living crisis and how it is affecting people’s financial, emotional and physical wellbeing. We gathered stories and insight from our frontline Members, volunteers and Community Support Projects to show how this crisis is affecting people across the country. It also offers stories of hope, showcasing how the SVP continues to provide lifesaving support and befriending to people most in need. The publication is available to read on our website here.   

SVP policy team urges government to uphold pledges to Afghan families
The SVP’s social policy team united with other charities including Charity Safe Passage International, other Afghan activists and the Families Together Coalition in urging the government to uphold the pledges it made to help reunite Afghan families who remain separated after escaping their broken country. The letter was directly to Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and highlighted that, nearly 18-months after British military operations to evacuate eligible Afghans from Afghanistan following the 2021 Taliban takeover. SVP members have been supporting Afghans resettled to the UK and staying in bridging hotels for many years now, providing them with a lifeline and support to help them settle in the UK. The letter was covered in media outlets such as the Guardian and the Tablet. Read the coverage here and here.

Submission to APPG on enquiry into adequacy of social security
The SVP social policy team submitted evidence in response to the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Poverty inquiry into the (in)adequacy of social security. Using case studies from our Community Support Projects we were able to submit compelling evidence showcasing the specific areas where the benefits system is inefficient, inaccurate and inconsistent. Specifically, we highlighted the issues relating to eligibility criteria and the adequacy of support. The APPG on poverty seeks to bring together cross-party Parliamentarians and other stakeholders with the common goal of working towards the eradication of poverty.

Vincentian response to the Autumn Budget Statement
Working closely with Vincentian Family members, including the Daughters of Charity, DePaul UK, The Passage, Noah Enterprise and many others, we published a response to the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement. Building on our success of leading on coalition letters over the past two years, we brought together a diverse group of Vincentian charities to call for an adequate social security system, one that reflects the true cost of living and prevents the poorest in society from being pushed deeper into poverty this winter. Read the statement here.

Submission to Afghan resettlement scheme inquiry
We successfully submitted evidence to the Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration’s inquiry (ICBI) on the Home Office Afghan Resettlement Scheme. Working closely with a number of Conferences, our social justice team successfully submitted compelling evidence and case studies highlighting the injustice faced by Afghans resettled in the UK under the UK’s resettlement schemes. Our members provided compelling evidence to influence future Government migration and integration policy. The ICBI is responsible for investigating the work of the Home Office and making recommendations for improvements.