St. Joseph's Catholic Primary Academy

We Value All in the Name of Jesus the Christ



As part of their role as Mini Vinnies the children have been leading on the Diocesan initiative of Missionary Discipleship.  We discussed what it meant to be a disciple and how we could become effective disciples and we decided to be a missionary disciple meant that we needed to live out Jesus’ message of helping others.  As part of this we decided that raising money to help others would be our first act. 

The Mini Vinnies organised and ran the ‘Big Night in.’ This was a big pyjama party in the hall where we had pizza and popcorn whilst watching a film.  We raised a total of almost £200 was raised. Mrs McCullagh then went shopping and bought toothpaste, toothbrushes, chocolate bars, hot chocolate sachets, thick wool socks and woolly hats and the Y6 pupils filled 47 shoe boxes for the sea farers. Then on Wednesday of last week Mrs Pollard & Mrs McCullagh went along to the carol concert at the seaman’s mission on Immingham Docks and were able to give out some of these shoe boxes. The seafarers were so grateful it was fabulous to see the final part of the shoeboxes journey.

Many thanks to all those who supported this cause, you really have made a difference to some men far from home at Christmas.

Mini Vinnies Disco - February 2019

The Mini Vinnies organised and ran a very successful Valentine’s disco and raised over £300.00 

The children made and sold tickets as well as ran games and created the music playlist.  They worked very hard with the tuck shop and it was a huge success.  They met as a group and decided that they wanted to donate £100 to Macmillan and £200 to help children in school to go on trips and £10 to buy two bricks as part of the Gambia project.

The Gambia Project

The 2020 project will see 18 volunteers travelling to The Gambia to make bricks to build a new classroom. The village is a very poor area of The Gambia with dust tracks for roads. There are 3 classrooms that all have cracks in the walls and are subsiding. This is due to lack of foundations and very heavy rains in the monsoons of late. 500 children in surrounding villages use the school, some go in the morning whilst others then go in the afternoon as they are desperate to go to school and have an education.

Alfonse in Y3 will be joining his Grandmother and the other volunteers making the bricks and any other work during his Easter holiday which will be a fabulous opportunity for him and for him to learn more about his heritage as the local Gambians will be assisting us or, perhaps the other way round , we will be assisting them. 

The children in the Mini Vinnies felt that it would be important to support building a new school and decided to use some of the funds they had raised to buy 2 bricks in the name of the Mini Vinnies.

All about Mini Vinnies

St Joseph’s are the first school in the whole of the Nottingham Diocese to have a Mini Vinnies group and we are very pleased to say that over 30 children applied to join.  We now have our final 15 children who on the 24th November 2017 were commissioned by the YCDO of the Middlesbrough Diocese in front of local members of the SVP and Father Andrew and they can’t wait to get going!

Mini Vinnies newsletter 2019 

What is Mini Vinnies?

The Society of St Vincent de Paul has been engaging with young people and education since its earliest days. Today the SVP England & Wales is pleased to highlight its continuing strong links with young people, through the development of its new 'Mini Vinnies' programme - a ground-breaking Primary Schools initiative, based on good work done in Australia, piloted in the Diocese of Shrewsbury, and which 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'. 

‘Mini Vinnies’ is a St Vincent de Paul Group in a Primary School. It is a group of young people aged 7-11 who get together, organise and talk about helping others in need within their school community and beyond. What makes Mini Vinnies such a valuable experience for the children who are part of it, is the change it makes in school communities. Mini Vinnies’ groups usually meet once a week or fortnight during lunchtime.

What happens at a Mini Vinnies’ meeting?

A ‘President’ is elected by the Mini Vinnies to lead the meeting and organise the group. An adult will co-ordinate the group and give help and practical advice. Meetings should be as brief as possible.

· The President opens the meeting with a prayer.

· A short spiritual reading/reflection/piece of music/meditation follows. The Group members could take turns to do this.

· Group members then talk about the Mini Vinnies’ activities they have done since the previous meeting.

· Any future plans are then discussed.

· The President concludes the meeting with a prayer.

SVP Who's Who

Our patron, founders & inspiration.

St. Vincent de Paul (1581 - 1660)

St. Vincent de Paul

Vincent was born poor and in the beginning he wanted to be rich. This was why he first became a priest!

Later he changed his mind and decided to spend his life helping the sick and mentally-ill, orphans and old people, beggars and the starving, prisoners and galley slaves.

Vincent’s life is a great reminder for us all to find ways to help those around us.

Frédéric Ozanam (1813 - 1853)

Frédéric Ozanam

The St. Vincent de Paul Society was founded in 1833 by a 19 year old Catholic student called Frédéric Ozanam. In a discussion one day, Frédéric was asked to say what the Catholic Church was doing for the poor in France. Frédéric was embarrassed. He knew in his heart that the Church was doing very little.

So Frédéric and his friends began to meet each week to plan visits and help local people in need. He now realised that Christianity was about actions, not just words. Thus, they formed the world's first SVP group. In 1997 Frédéric Ozanam was beatified by Pope John Paul II in France.

St Vincent de Paul is recognised, both in France and worldwide as the apostle of charity and of the society.  It was decided by the Founders to dedicate the society to St Vincent de Paul.

Louise de Marillac (1591 - 1660)

Louise de Marillac

Louise was a wealthy widow who became a close friend and confidante of Vincent. She founded with him the Daughters of Charity.

During Louise's marriage, and especially after the death of her husband, Louise found herself with spare time which she dedicated to helping abandoned children on the streets.

She graduated to visiting the sick men of the chain gangs in their prison hospice (a truly horrible place) and started a house nearby where a number of women cooked food for those who visited the prisoners daily to take with them.

Throughout the country, centres staffed by wives of people in the village were set up to serve the poor. Louise pushed for every village to have its own clinic, school, nurse and teacher. The women who came to do these jobs made up the Daughters of Charity.

Sr Rosalie Rendu (1786 - 1856)

Sr Roaslie Rendu

As a novice, Sr Rosalie was a sensitive and nervous person. She would have initially seemed an unlikely woman to spend 50 years of her life helping Paris’s most impoverished.

When, in 1803, she arrived in one of the poorest neighbourhoods of Paris, she was horrified by the poverty caused as a result of the civil revolution. She and her sisters distributed relief in the form of clothing, food and linen, and ran a school for children. She also used her energy to pressure the authorities and to involve others in her work.

Through Rosalie’s assistance, Frédéric and his companions made their first contact with the poor. Because Rosalie’s good work had made her a recognised household name, the new group gained an instant respect which they would not have had otherwise.

Rosalie was a very important guide for Frédéric and his friends and was a living example of how we should put our faith into action.

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