Would you know what a Mini Vinnie was? You would be correct if you deduced that it was a smaller version of something. Vinnie is short for Vincent. In this case, St Vincent de Paul (SVP).
The Mini Vinnies are a group of children in year 6 at St Joseph’s RC Primary School who want to follow some of the charitable ways of St Vincent de Paul. He lived in the 1600s when there was no real care for people in need. He spent his time caring for sick people, helping poor people, giving hungry people something to eat, and being a friend to those who were lonely.
The choice the children make to be a Mini Vinnie is completely their own. They enjoy the idea of helping others in whatever way they can. The ways they have helped over the years has made a real difference to people. For example, the Playground Buddy scheme where children try to mediate between the two sides if an argument breaks out; writing letters to some of the elderly residents in a care home, to cheer them up when visiting was limited because of COVID; and when the SVP sent out little Christmas hampers to some elderly or needy people the Mini Vinnies made beautiful Christmas cards to accompany each hamper.
A recent project has been making a prayer garden in a quiet corner – a place just for people to visit and reflect. At the moment they are busy composing short prayers which they will write on some prayer stones for visitors to read there.
There is so much more to say about this wonderful group of children, who are making a difference to people in need in Retford and the world.
If you wish to contact the Retford St Vincent de Paul Society call 07795 285424.