The St Vincent de Paul Society (or as it is often known - the SVP) is an international Christian voluntary organisation dedicated to tackling poverty and disadvantage by providing practical assistance to those in need – irrespective of ideology, faith, ethnicity, age or gender. The Society is a lay organisation initially formed in Paris in 1833 by Blessed Frédéric Ozanam and his companions. It seeks, in the spirit of justice and charity, to help those who are suffering poverty in whatever form. The SVP meets every fortnight and carries out often unseen work of caring for families and individuals in acute need.