Our Mini Vinnie group was founded in St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School, Retford in 2015, with the help and continued support of the SVP Conference in St Joseph’s parish, Retford. We are now entering our fifth year of having Mini Vinnies in school.
Our current Mini Vinnies have been busy working with the school community, the parish of St Joseph’s and the wider community of Retford, and the global community across the world. They prepared for Advent by producing prayer cards for the sick and housebound in the parish and collected food for Bassetlaw Foodbank. In February they held a Fair Trade afternoon tea party for our parents and carers and visited the food bank in Retford, learning about how the foodbank works. This summer they are preparing for a sponsored event to raise funds for Community Projects in Kerala in South India.
For the next academic year, we have 21 new Mini Vinnies from our current Y5 who were commissioned in June, 2019. They will begin their roles in September with enthusiasm and will be suggesting ideas at our first meeting to help with future projects. Each meeting begins with a prayer and scripture and continues with discussion, planning and working on projects across the year. Our group will be trained as Playground Buddies (Buddies help children in school who have a conflict with a friend to talk it through and solve it themselves) and will develop a rota to ensure there are Buddies available each play time.
We are very proud of our Mini Vinnie team, a vibrant group of children who make great links between the school, parish and wider community; we would like to thank them, and all those who work alongside them, for their continued efforts.
We would like to especially thank the members of the Saint Vincent de Paul Society in Retford for supporting our group and Trish Clarke who gives up her time and organises the work of the St Joseph’s Mini Vinnie group.