Mini Vinnies




In April 2015, following the success of our Lenten charity to purchase Vinnie Packs for the homeless through the St Vincent de Paul (SVP) mission we decided, along with the School Council, that the children of St Joseph’s would join the “Mini- Vinnie” community- the junior branch of the SVP. Our existing school councillors formed our start up committee. Mike Royles from SVP, joined us for whole school assembly to do a presentation on becoming a Mini Vinnie.

With a motto of ‘see, think, do’ we feel this very much fits with our school Mission statement and links with St Joseph’s Parish and the group was launched at a special assembly. All children at the school automatically become Mini Vinnie members when they join, with a central committee who are elected to their positions leading and helping with co-ordination.

We will update this page regularly with what our Mini Vinnies have been up to!


Mini Vinnie Day of Reflection


On Thursday 4th July 2019, Nahla and Alex represented the Mini Vinnies at a Day of Reflection, held in Poole, with other Mini Vinnies from local Catholic schools. They had a to give a short speech about the work that they do in school and then worked with the other children doing many different activities throughout the day, ending with a short liturgy in St. Mary’s Church. They came away with lots of ideas for next year, as well as ideas for some prayer stations that they could set up during lunchtimes. Thank you to Mrs Thomas for taking them.


Mini Vinnies – 2019


Mini Vinnies 2019 St Joseph's



Mini Vinnie update – Christmas 2018


Mini Vinnies-1 Mini Vinnies-2

During one of our Mini Vinnie meetings, Ella and Isla suggested that we make Christmas cards like last year to deliver to our neighbours. Year 5 coloured and made 50 Christmas cards for our neighbours. One lunchtime, Miss Thomas and Mrs Thomas took 7 children to deliver the cards to our neighbours.


Mini Vinnie update – Autumn 2018



At the beginning of term, the Mini Vinnies met with Dorset Council. Dorset Council have been given £1 million to improve the play parks in Christchurch and wanted their input. They discussed what is important to them in a play park, before designing their own parks. The Mini Vinnies really enjoyed this opportunity to work with Dorset Council to help hundreds of children in Christchurch.

Isla has been leading rosary club at lunchtimes on a Wednesday. This has been very popular with KS1. The children think about who they would like to pray for, think about a different mystery of the rosary and then pray a decade together.

During Advent, each child is given a prayer calendar to take home to focus their prayers. The Mini Vinnies created this prayer calendar and thought very carefully about what the children of St. Joseph’s could think about on each day during Advent. They also helped to put together the travelling nativity bags that different children take home during Advent.


Mini Vinnies – July 2018


Mini Vinnies 2018-min

Fifteen new Mini Vinnies were voted to represent their classes. They all gave fantastic speeches as to why they should be Mini Vinnies. So far, the older Mini Vinnies have represented the school at St. Joseph’s Church 25th anniversary Mass. Isla and Ella read beautifully; Kieran did his usual job as an altar server; and Zahra, Nahla and Alex processed into Church proudly holding our St. Joseph’s banner and bringing up the offertory.

Mini Vinnies

As a diocese, we are raising money for Bamenda. The Mini Vinnies decided they would like to hold a raffle to raise money for the children in Bamenda. They are currently busy designing posters and getting raffle prizes together. Details will follow as to when the raffle will take place.

At the end of the school year, Mini Vinnies from Year 4 and 5 will represent all of the Mini Vinnies on a special day, where they will meet other Mini Vinnies from local Catholic schools, comparing ideas and discussing their role in school.


Mini Vinnie update – November 2016


The Mini Vinnie’s met and they were all extremely keen to be doing lots of things to help in the run up to Christmas and had lots of ideas of things they can do. They will be making Christmas cards for people in our community who are lonely or poorly and will be getting as many children in school involved by holding a Colouring Club to make cards. They will also be using the olive tree in our prayer garden to make a Jesse tree.


Mini Vinnie Commissioning Liturgy – July 2016


Mini Vinnies 2016

On Friday 15th July, we held our Mini Vinnie Commissioning Liturgy for the elected committee members for 2016-2017. The children were joined by Mike Royles from the St Vincent de Paul Society and made their pledges and received their Mini Vinnie badges in front of the whole school and family members.


Mini Vinnies Committee 2015-2016


The committee members for this school year are Reece (Year 1), Alex (Year 2), Theo (Year 3), Katelyn (Year 3), Eddie (Year 4), Emma (Year 4), Harvey (Year 5), Alice (Year 5), Alex (Year 6), Imogen (Year 6) Erin (Year 6) and Freddie (Year 6). The Ducklings committee member will be elected in the Spring term.

Have a look at the Mini Vinnies official website:

 Mini Vinnies


Mini Vinnies Update by Imogen & Freddie


The Autumn Term saw a busy spell during which time the committee organised a book sale raising £112.38  some of which was spent on Rainbow Rosaries for the children to use at Rosary Club. The remaining money will be spent on numerous religious artefacts to support class worship. They were also involved in school and class worship and took an active part in the Diocesan Validation which took place in November. After Christmas the members reviewed the contents of the successful travelling nativity sacks and were pleased to report to Miss Buxton that no replacements or renewals are currently needed.

On Thursday 14th January the committee celebrated a very successful first session of their new weekly surgery. Based on the arrangement of constituent surgeries held by MPs, the committee members are manning an open drop in session every Thursday lunchtime during which any pupil can pop in and share their thoughts and ideas with members of the committee so that these can be swiftly bought to the next meeting. The opening session welcomed 15 children and the committee members did a very efficient job of talking to them and collecting their comment and suggestions.

From February 2016 Erin in Year 6 has kindly agreed to join the committee to share the workload and support the good work already started. The committee are working closely with Mrs Miccoli to arrange the forth-coming CAFOD visit from Isabella Lally who will be leading an assembly on the latest CAFOD challenge in February and introducing our Lenten fund raising project. More news very soon.


Mini Vinnies Book Sale – October 2015


“Thank you for all your book donations for our book sale last week. It was lovely to see so many people buying our second hand books. Thanks to your support we managed to raise £112.38.  We are donating the money that you helped us raise to buy some more rosaries for Rosary Club. We may have money left over so let us have your ideas for other resources please. If you have any ideas for fund raising please let us know!” – from Alex (Finance Officer for the Mini Vinnies).


19th June 2015


Sophia and Ben would like to tell you about what the Mini Vinnies have been doing….“Recently in our school our Mini Vinnies have been very busy. We had the Bishop come to the school and look around; he went into all the classes and spoke to the children. As well as that we have had our commissioning assembly. Although there is not a lot to do at the moment, seeing as we are just getting started, we have been getting organised and have been thinking of ideas to help get things going”.


5th June 2015


This week we held our commissioning liturgy for our new Mini-Vinnies, being joined by Mr Groom, Area President of the St Vincent de Paul Society, who we presented with a cheque for £150.49 from our Lenten Alms. The first meeting was before half term when the children met to elect roles and prepare for their commissioning liturgy.