Tuesday, May 28, 2024
HomeOpinionEditorialVinnies Winter Appeal supports vulnerable older women

Vinnies Winter Appeal supports vulnerable older women

The St Vincent de Paul Society NSW annual Vinnies Winter Appeal focuses on the number of older women experiencing and at risk of homelessness.

They’re our mothers, grandmothers and aunts. They’ve cared for others their whole lives, and deserve to enjoy their golden years feeling safe and secure. Instead, they’re being forced to sleep rough and fight to survive.

“The Vinnies Winter Appeal is crucially important in enabling our services and members to support people experiencing disadvantage and hardship, particularly the concerning number of older women experiencing or at risk of homelessness,” said Yolanda Saiz, St Vincent de Paul Society NSW CEO.

“The latest census figures revealed women over 55 remain one of the most at-risk demographics, increasing by 37 per cent over the past decade to more than 7,300 across Australia.

“This is a huge concern and without widespread changes to policies such as the rate of income support payments, superannuation and investment in social housing, the disadvantage that we are confronted with right now will worsen.

“We understand that times are tough right now with the rising cost of living, but we ask that people give generously if they are in a position to do so,” said Ms Saiz.

Funds raised through the Vinnies Winter Appeal will be used to provide assistance with food, clothing, household bills, specialist homelessness services and support people in need to find and maintain secure housing.

“The rising cost of living and housing crisis has seen people turn to our services through necessity,” said Paul Burton, St Vincent de Paul Society NSW State President.

“We’ve seen that 30 per cent of people seeking assistance from our members are doing so for the first time, while four-in-five people are reaching out for support with food.

“People are being forced to make choices that should never have to occur; it is an indictment on the inequality that exists that people are forced to decide between having a roof over their head or putting food on the table.

“We know that people will opt not to turn on a heater during the colder winter months because they fear the eye-watering bill that will follow.

“The funds raised through the Vinnies Winter Appeal will be vitally important in allowing our members and services to continue alleviating the pressure that so many people are facing in their daily lives,” said Mr Burton.

Donations can be made at https://www.vinnies.org.au/nswwinterwarmthappeal, on 13 18 12 and at all Vinnies Shops. Donations over $2 are tax deductible.


Kate Pascoe is NSW Communications Manager, St Vincent de Paul Society NSW

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