The Youth SVP group was set up by Ms Gaffney in November 2022 and has now grown to 60 students and 6 staff members. The core motto of the Youth SVP is;
'Turning Concern into Action'
Our motto also compliments the Ursuline College motto of Serviam whilst also being inspired by St. Angela Merici to ‘Do something. Get Moving. Risk new things. Stick with it.’
In the weeks towards Christmas the students got busy straight away. They organised a visit from the Salvation Army with Major Richard Oliver who educated the students on the levels of homeless and sofa surfing within their local area. As a result, the students donated 8 sleeping bags to the Salvation Army. The Youth SVP worked with the local adult conference of the SVP to arrange the delivery of a big school food drive over Christmas. The students also created 70 handmade Christmas Cards with personalised messages for the residences of St Michaels Care home in Westgate-on-Sea. In January, the students were then invited back to make regular visits to the residents who do not usually get a visitation.
Also in January, the local adult conference of the SVP held a celebration mass, welcoming all the student members of the Youth SVP, which they thoroughly enjoyed.
Other projects they have completed include creating affirmations for students who may be having a bad day for each of the house offices of St Augustine, St Bernadette, St Francis and St Teresa. The students painted each box in the house colours. They then created affirmations for teachers having who made need to hear kind words from a student which are in the staff room. More ideas from our Youth SVP are creating Reading Spaces for lunchtimes in the school community and organising fundraising events such as ‘Pay £1 to miss a lesson and watch a movie’ to help raise funds for the other projects.
The Easter drive was working with Community Kindness – Thanet to gather as many Easter Eggs as possible from our school community for children who live on or under the poverty line in Thanet. There are currently 9000 children who fall under this line in our local area, some of which attend our school. With the countdown to Easter Sunday, it is a great way to focus on giving and supporting those in need. A total of 350 eggs were donated by the school.
The students have begun to work with Thanet Earth towards the end of the academic year where Thanet Earth will donate fruit and vegetables for the Youth SVP to sell at a market to raise funds for the Youth SVP.
They have launched a TikTok account to encourage our school community to join the youth SVP and support any of the fundraising or good causes around the school. Some videos have reached over 7000 views even in its early stages. If you want to keep tabs on what we are up to, follow us on TikTok!
We are thrilled to announce that our Youth SVP group at the Ursuline College has made the National SVP Magazine - Vincentian Concern: Winter 2023 - Issue 72. You can access the magazine online https://svp.org.uk/publications - see page 21.