We have an active Mini Vinnies group at St Patrick’s which is the junior version of the St. Vincent de Paul Socieity. The pupils work and pray together and lead projects, often involving the whole school community, in order to help people in need within the school, local and international communities. The aim of the Mini Vinnies is to introduce children to the importance of social justice and to see how they can contribute to this.
During our first year we undertook many varied projects. Our fundraising began with a “silly hat” and “silly tombola” in support of the CAFOD “Big Silly Share” campaign to support those who don’t have enough resources across the world.
We then handmade 100 Christmas cards for the senior citizens party in our local community. Also, at Christmas time we organised a collection of Christmas foods for the County Durham food banks to help those in need of emergency/short term food supplies.
Our group wrote prayers and made prayer cards to be given out to the elderly and sick of our parish to support them in their need.
We also did further fundraising in February by supporting the UNICEF Day for Change 2015 to specifically support children caught up in conflicts across the the world.
We then started a continual collection for the Durham food banks and we are creating a virtual village in our school by buying World Gifts through CAFOD. The children bring any spare change into school and we discuss as a group what to buy for our village. In April we funded the purchase of a queen bee, a football and a vegetable garden to help those living in areas of need to produce food and enjoy sports and games.
September began with our group buying more World Gifts for our virtual village. We have now funded the purchase of some chickens, worms (to help ensure healthy soil for growing vegetables) and tuition to support a child learning to read.
During this second autumn half term we are carrying on collecting food for our local food bank and collecting small change to raise funds in order to buy more CAFOD World Gifts.
We are currently making one hundred Christmas cards to give to the senior citizens in our community who attend the local Christmas party organised by our church parish committee. This helps to enrich their Christmas experience and to know that they are valued and thought about.