BY Amanda Connelly | July 5 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS     print icon print


Mini Vinnies celebrate past year with ‘inspiring’ gathering

Young people gathered in Glasgow recently to brain-storm ideas for fighting poverty through Faith.

Almost 50 young people from schools across Glasgow Archdiocese took part in the Mini Vinnies Assemble day, organised by the Society of St Vincent de Paul (SSVP).

The pupils met at The Space in Govanhill on June 20 with their teachers and members of local SSVP conferences who work in close connection with schools. The theme for the day was ‘The Beatitudes.’

The Glasgow Mini Vinnies came out in force from a number of primary schools across the city, including St Joseph’s, St Nicholas’, St Stephen’s, Holy Family, St Mary’s, St Anne’s, St Eunan’s, and St Michael’s.

Led by Sean Murphy, the event celebrated the great efforts of the Mini Vinnies this past year.



The day began with an overview of the eight Beatitudes, before looking at the four Beatitudes that are apparent in the work of the Mini Vinnies, followed by guided reflection and meditation.

SSVP Scotland youth development coordinator, Lucy Mason, said the day was ‘inspirational.’

“Participants attending the annual SSVP Scotland gathering of Mini Vinnies were left inspired, delighted, and encouraged by the work going on,” she said.

“SSVP founder, Frederic Ozanam, believed that ‘We must proclaim through our acts that man is still his brother’s keeper.’

“Members of SSVP across Scotland are faced with poverty issues daily. Local parish SSVP conferences put in place a variety of initiatives to collect and distribute food.

“In some parishes those in need are invited to collect parcels on a particular evening, in others, bags of food are available for collection at the parish house.

“During school holidays the demand is particularly high, when parents cannot rely on school meals.

“SSVP strives not only to alleviate need but also to discover and redress the situations which cause it.”



Ms Mason also thanked previous youth development officer Clare Carr for establishing the Mini Vinnies and paid tribute to teachers and SSVP conference members for giving the groups their support.

“I think finally the success is down to our young people,” she said. “The pupils are committed and see the value in being a Mini Vinnie. Mini Vinnie groups have presidents, secretaries, and treasurers and mimic the set-up of an SSVP conference.

“Pupils have a sense of responsibility and ownership over the work they do; they feel responsible and know they are making a difference.”

Those present also heard from volunteer at The Space Dorothy MacLean, who spoke of the invaluable work the Louise Project does with marginalised people and families in the community.

“As an impartial observer I was very impressed by the organisation on the day,” Ms MacLean said. “The young people were very engaged in every activity.”

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