Here at St Michael’s we are proud to say we have our very own group of Mini Vinnies.
- Lead – Miss Johnston
- President – Annabelle
- Treasurer – Ben
Who are the Mini Vinnies?
‘Mini Vinnies’ are children aged between 7 to 11 who, with the support of their Schools, are encouraged to embark on their first steps as possible ‘Vincentians for life’.
Mini Vinnies are a younger version of The Society of St Vincent de Paul. The group is seen as having, “The potential to significantly contribute to the future of our Society.”
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’.
St Michael’s Mini Vinnies
St Michael’s Mini Vinnies meet every other week with Miss Johnston to find ways to turn concern into action.
- To care for, respect and love ourselves
- Strengthen our friendship with Jesus
- To care for others in our school and community
- To care for and enjoy God’s world
- To treat others the way we would like to be treated
- To fund raise to help those in need
So far this year we have:
- Picked a child each week to give a Mini Vinnies certificate to. Mini Vinnies look for children who are displaying our Catholic Values and following our mission statement of ‘Finding Christ in everyone.’ These children are celebrated during our weekly celebration assembly
- Mini Vinnies each made a pledge. They thought about how they could each make a difference whilst being part of this special group. They were all very passionate about spreading kindness in school, at home and in the community.
Autumn 1 Term
- Celebrated St Vincent De Paul’s Feast Day – 27th September 2021
Mini Vinnies learnt more about St Vincent’s life and his good work. We discussed this together and said some special prayers. The children learned that on this day we celebrate his life, example and teaching. It is also a day where we are guided towards asking for Vincent’s intercession in our prayers and within our lives. Vincent’s life is a great reminder for us all to find ways to help those around us.
- Made birthday cards to send to the care home
Mini Vinnies made a start on making a batch of birthday cards to send to the local nursing home. They wanted each resident to be able to receive a hand made card on their special day.
Autumn 2 Term
- Remembrance Day.
Mini Vinnies learnt why remembrance day is so important and about the significance of the poppy. During our session we took some time to reflect and said a prayer for all those who served and sadly died in the war. We created a ‘Flanders Fields’ remembrance display for each class so that they could use it to help with their reflection time on November 11th at 11am.
- Christmas Memory Tree
During December we get organised for Christmas and whilst it’s a time of celebration we also recognised that for many of us, it can also be a very difficult time of year where loved ones are missed. Mini Vinnies thought it would be a lovely idea to continue our tradition of a memory tree to take time to think of those who are in our thoughts. Children and adults were invited to take a star tag and write a special message of remembrance and then place it on our tree. After Christmas these tags will be added to our book of remembrance.
- Ushaw College Christmas Tree Festival
Mini Vinnies and Eco Warriors teamed up to create a tree to enter into The Ushaw Christmas Tree Festival. The children thought imaginatively and combined their ideas to come up with an eco-friendly design whilst incorporating our catholic values and remembering the true meaning and importance of Christmas. The festival is made up of custom Christmas trees, designed by professional artists, community groups, and local children. These trees grace the interior of the venue, whilst ‘illuminating Ushaw’ turns the building’s façade into a four-storey illuminated advent calendar of neon and animation.
- Christmas gifts for Langley Park Care Home
Parents contributed gifts towards our gift for Langley Park Care Home. Mini Vinnies and other children within school made personal cards for each resident. Two Mini Vinnies delivered these. The staff and residents were delighted.
- School Christmas Fayre
During December The Friends of the School had a Christmas stall on the driveway to raise money as part of our Christmas Fayre. Some Mini Vinnies went out to help sell raffle tickets and stocking fillers. The children were confident and polite and loved interacting with our parents. As well as this Mini Vinnies held a ‘Guess the name of the teddy’ and ‘Guess the amount of sweets in the jar’ game to help raise funds for the Christmas Fayre.
Spring 1 Term
- Stamps for Northumbria Blood Bikes
Northumbria Blood Bikes is a registered charity established by local volunteers to deliver essential blood and urgent medical supplies, out of hours, between hospitals and other healthcare sites in North East England. We asked parents to save their stamps to raise funds for NBB. Northumbria Blood Bikes’ funding comes entirely from charitable donations, and the service is provided solely by volunteers, giving their own free time to help others. Mini Vinnies made a post box for the school entrance so that the stamps to be recycled could be placed in there.
- Random Acts of Kindness Day – Thursday 17th February
Mini Vinnies wanted to spread kindness. We wanted to show why it’s so important. The day is a day where we can celebrate the small gestures that can be made to show kindness and make others feel good.
We decided to turn our day of kindness into a week of kindness. Kindness makes our world a happy and caring place to live – we wanted to spread this message just as Jesus did and just as St Vincent De Paul did.
With the help of some Year 6 children, Mini Vinnies took part in a kindness walk throughout the week. We watched classes at lunch and break times and noted down any kindness witnessed. We spoke to members of staff and asked about kindness displayed in class.
Each class were then given a bag to decorate and asked to turn it into a bag of kindness. They were asked to complete the sentence, Kindness is…
Take a look at some of the many wonderful examples.
Kindness is …
helping a friend, giving a hug, a kind word, free, the greatest gift, being a listening ear, powerful, the difference between a good day and a bad day, always the answer, sharing, being caring, forgiving, being there, positivity, giving a compliment, loving others, special, respecting people, friendship