“It is such an amazing opportunity for our young people as it enables them to put what they learn in the classroom for religion into practice – they are living out their faith within their school.”

Mini Vinnies

Mini Vinnies is an SSVP group in a primary school. It is a group of children from Primary 4-7 who get together to help people in need within their school and local community.

It is about doing good works in the community, but it is also about young people meeting to talk, to share ideas and concerns, to have fun and to support each other. The SSVP model of faith in action is a great way to get young people thinking and talking about their spirituality – connecting their beliefs and values with service activities and issues in their community can help to make their faith real, meaningful and relevant.

The SSVP was started by young people way back in 1833, that’s why we think it’s so important to have young people involved. Mini Vinnies are SSVP groups based in primary schools and usually made up of Primary 4-7 pupils, with an adult or adults supporting them.


“I really like being a Mini Vinnie because I want to make a change for the whole world and to be beside Jesus.  In my heart, I feel really proud of myself.”

Julia, Our Lady’s Primary School, Perth

What do Mini Vinnies do?


Education and awareness. Becoming aware of some of the community’s social ills and knowing that although the world is beautiful, there are always ways to make it a bit better.  


Formation. This a chance for Mini Vinnies to participate in spiritual activities, personal development and discussions, and to develop a real understanding of the world.


Community service and fundraising. ‘Doing’ means supporting the SSVP in its good works, and for the children to do something about the issues that they have seen, thought about or discussed.

Why join Mini Vinnies?

Becoming a Mini Vinnie is a great idea! It allows you to help other people which always helps you to know yourself better.

When you join Mini Vinnies, you will get your own badge, prayer card and pencil.  Being a Mini Vinnie is a lot of responsibility- you will need to go to meetings(usually lunch time or after school), help with planning your activities, then give your time to help other people. Helping others always makes you feel good!


Starting a Mini Vinnies Group

Would you like to start a Mini Vinnies group in your school or parish? It is a very straightforward process.

Essentials elements for a Mini Vinnies group

  • Regular group meetings – at least fortnightly
  • Doing ‘good works’ in your local community
  • Working with local SSVP members and Conferences(groups)
  • An adult who can act as Group Adviser to provide  support and guidance to the pupils, while allowing for them to take leadership
  • A President and secretary elected by secret ballot.  Other roles such as vice president and treasurer can be assumed when necessary

Want to know more?

Download the Mini Vinnies Starter Kit here

Or contact the SSVP  National Youth Development Officer on 0141 226 8833 or email youth@ssvpscotland.com

Who’s who?

Learn more about the people who are important to the SSVP and its history.

St Vincent de PaulSaint-Vincent-de-Paul

Blessed Frederic Ozanam

St Louise de Marillac

Blessed Rosalie Rendu

Learn about who’s who

Useful Resources

View our resources page

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