Young Vincentians launch Lenten campaign with Mini Vinnies at St Anthony's

Watford Young Vincentians

St Vincent de Paul Society (England and Wales) launched their school’s campaign for Lent 2024 called Make Poverty a Priority, alongside a group of Mini Vinnies from St Anthony’s Catholic Primary School in Watford recently (1st February 2024). 

The SVP Lenten campaign aims to get young people to think about those who have power or can influence change on the issues of poverty that the children care about. They are encouraged to think about examples of people, such as celebrities, MPs, the council, shop managers and others, who are either in a position to make changes, or can raise their awareness and use their voice for those living with any kind of poverty. 

Mini Vinnies are the primary school age members of the SVP who strive to live out their mission of See, Think, Do in order to serve those in need in their community. Currently, there are 443 active Mini Vinnie groups in England and Wales, as well as 121 Youth SVP groups and SVP affiliated secondary schools. 

After receiving the warmest of welcomes at the school from staff and pupils, the SVP team led a workshop and discussion through the first three Stations of the Cross which are part of SVP’s Lent campaign resource, reflecting on Jesus’ journey, unpacking scripture and immersing themselves in discussion around turning concern into action. 

The St Vincent de Paul Society (England & Wales) is part of an international Christian voluntary network dedicated to tackling poverty and its causes, by bringing a blend of services and support to people in need in our local communities. 

This year is the 180th Birthday of the St Vincent de Paul Society in England and Wales, so young people are also being asked to take part in a challenge to come up with ideas of ways to fundraise for the life-changing work of the SVP based on the number 180. The Mini Vinnies at St Anthony’s challenge favourite’s currently include raising £180 by painting 180 pebbles to gift to others, and, a 180-minute sponsored dance-a-thon.  

Katy Ramsey, Mini Vinnie Manager for St Vincent de Paul said “In the 180th year of the SVP, it is great to see the children asking people with influence and authority to put the needs of those living in poverty high on their agenda. These children are raising their voices and taking action to ensure people are treated fairly and I think our founders would be proud of them”.