Today SSVP Scotland has 86 groups in schools across Scotland and are steadily growing. Our Youth groups work just like the adult Conference within a parish. They meet in friendship and prayer, consider who needs help in their school or community, make a plan, then carry out their action.
The simplicity of how these meetings operate was written down by Frederic Ozanam back in 1833 and we still use the same rulebook today.
The format of meetings is to begin with prayer, follow an agenda of discussion and allocating tasks for the weeks ahead and end in payer. The spiritual aspect of the group is very important: we need to ask the Lord to guide our work. Time can also be spent learning about the lives of the Saints and Blessed men and women who started the Society of St Vincent de Paul. Their example is our guide, and we strive to follow the rules they established to help anyone in need.
Some examples of faith in action in which Vinnies groups in schools do are:
- Reaching out to the those who need a friend within school
- Visiting care homes to give the residents some company
- Helping at soup kitchens and foodbanks
- Cleaning their playground and looking after natural areas
- Recycling projects
- Making and sending cards and letters to hospital patients to cheer them up
- And many other creative and caring ideas!