The Society of St Vincent de Paul has been engaging with young people and education since its earliest days. Today the SVP England & Wales is pleased to highlight its continuing strong links with young people, through the development of its new 'Mini Vinnies' programme - a ground-breaking Primary Schools initiative, based on good work done in Australia, piloted in the Diocese of Shrewsbury, and which is seen as having, "the potential to significantly contribute to the future of our Society."
'Mini Vinnies' are children aged between 7 to 11 (or younger) who, with the permission of their parents and the support of their Schools, are encouraged to embark on their first steps as possible 'Vincentians for life'. At Sacred Heart, we have children from Year 4 and Year 5 as representatives for our school. These representatives work to guide the school in looking after members within our school community, fundraising for those less fortunate and in reaching out to the wider community. Whilst the organisation will be guided by members of staff, it will be run by the children.
As Mini Vinnies, the youngsters have their own 'treasured' Prayer, Pledge and Badge, a dedicated website and a range of bright and colourful documents which guide them in their formative steps - helping and enabling them to become in every sense, young Vincentians - or 'Mini Vinnies'.
The Mini Vinnies at Sacred Heart have led some exciting projects over the last year. You can read about some of these and see photographs below:
Our Mini Vinnies led the collection and sorting of food donations for the Harvest collection. As a group, they later met a member of our local food bank to learn about where the donated food would go and how it is distributed. Children have been invited to attend the food bank so they can see this first hand.