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St Joseph's Catholic Primary School

We are all God's children and will try to live, love, work
and serve as Jesus taught us.

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Mini Vinnies

Mini Vinnies at St Joseph's

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.

Our Mini Vinnies 2021-2022

Harvest Collection - October 2022

The Mini Vinnies were fully involved in displaying, bagging up and packing of the wonderful, generous and wide-ranging food items from the families of St. Joseph's as part of the annual Harvest donations for Christchurch Foodbank (Christchurch Food Bank+ providing more than just food. ( The children met with Tracy who also joined the school for our liturgy. Please see a short video clip below of a liturgy:

The maple leaf templates referred to can be found below.


“God said: ‘Look, I have given you all the plants that have grain for seeds, and I have given you all the trees whose fruits have seeds in them. They will be food for you." 

Genesis 1:29

May 2022

On Wednesday 25th May 2022, Mr Wasmuth came into St Joseph's to help tidy and weed our Prayer Garden.  As part of the Mini Vinnies review of the Prayer Garden in March, an action was to tidy and make the Prayer Garden more welcoming for children and adults in our school.  Mr Wasmuth and the children planted some flower bulbs, weeded and had a general tidy. We now encourage all children and adults to use the Prayer Garden for reflection and perhaps some outdoor learning!

April 2022

Spring has arrived and the Mini Vinnies conducted a mini Spring clean of the Prayer Garden! The children and Mrs Wasmuth weeded the garden, swept and tidied ready for outside learning to take place in the Summer Term.  The Mini Vinnies also wanted to encourage children and adults to use the space for quiet reflection.  

Our next task is planting some seeds to add extra colour to the Prayer Garden! 

February 2022 - Samara's Dignity Bags for Syria

The Year 6 Mini Vinnies helped Mrs Leonard and Mrs Wasmuth assemble three Dignity bags for Syrian children as part of The Samara's Aid Appeal.  A huge thank you to all children and staff of St Joseph's who raised the money for the bags, by dressing down on our 'Number Day'.  A very special thank you to Miss Fox, Mrs Walls and Mrs Dibden who bought all the items with your generous donations.  

November 2021

Friday 19th November is Children in Need. Children in Need helps children and young people across the UK when they need it the most. We will be asking for children to come into school in their own clothes wearing ‘Spots and Stripes’, in return for a 50p donation. Half of the money raised will go to Children in Need and the other half will be donated to our wonderful PTA at St Joseph’s. 

Thank you very much for supporting us and we look forward to seeing all the spots and stripes on Friday 19th November!


December 2021


On Wednesday 8th December 2021 the Mini Vinnies, Mrs Wasmuth and Mrs Thomas attended our school church, St Joseph's Catholic Church, Purewell for Mass to celebrate the end of the year of St Joseph. Several of the Mini Vinnies read beautifully during the service, and saw the presentation of a stunning picture of St Joseph as a young man working as a carpenter.  


Past activities:

Mini Vinnie Day of Reflection

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.


Delivering Christmas Cards

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 the children to deliver the cards to our neighbours.




Designing a play park

At the beginning of term, the Mini Vinnies met with Dorset Council, who had been given £1 million to improve the play parks in Christchurch. The Mini Vinnies discussed what was 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.