What is ‘Youth SVP’?
Youth SVP was founded in 1833 in Paris by a 19 year old student called Frederic Ozanam and his university friends, named after St Vincent De Paul. The aim of the group was to use their Christian values and principles to actively serve people in their community.
Youth SVP members use their voices, talents and passions to engage in their communities and take part in social action which is rooted in their Christian faith. Through voluntary work, Youth SVP members not only make a positive difference to our local society both inside and outside of school, but also learn new skills, build lasting friendships and develop their faith. Being part of the SVP gives them a chance to make their voices heard and spread awareness for different causes.
How do we make a difference?
The Youth SVP utilise the teachings of Jesus to help those in our community who need our help. Members make a conscious effort to promote the importance of caring for our environment, particularly in our community by making our local parks and streets clean of litter. This allows them to work together to make a positive difference to the local community.
At Christmas we organised a number of food hampers to be sent to St Clare's Church Food Bank, which were greatly received by the Priests there who explained the significance the impact of our generosity will be on our local community. Since then, we have placed a Food Donations box in the Our Lady's Reception for staff to donate to each half term, which we will deliver at the end of the half term. We are passionate about helping those who need it most, as we live by Jesus' teaching to "Love thy Neighbour".
Every half term the Youth SVP chooses different focuses based on what is to be celebrated in the weeks to come. We work together to come up with initiatives and pupils lead on how they think would be best to spread awareness, understanding and knowledge.
We are passionate about encouraging equality and Catholic Social Teaching. One way we have done this is through our Faith Cafe as part of our celebration of Inter-Faith Week. This was well attended and allowed pupils and staff the opportunity to come together and share their differences in a positive environment.
Some of the other initiatives we have done recently are:
- Raising awareness and offering the opportunity for prayer during form time for Migrants and Refugees, and homeless people (particularly in Manchester).
- Raising money for Afrocats Charity during Black History Month by baking and selling cakes.
- Sharing research and a short reflection on black Saints during Black History Month.
- Selling knitted poppies to our school community for Remembrance Day.
- Hand-made prayer bookmarks and department-specific prayers to encourage our whole school community to pray during lessons.
- Streaming a Survivors Story to help encourage empathy and understanding during Holocaust Memorial Day.
- Signing up to the CAFOD Big Lent Walk where we have pledged to walk 200km's in 40 days to raise money to end global poverty during Lent.
The Youth SVP make a huge difference to the lives of those around us demonstrating our school Mission Statement: “To Know, Love and Serve God". We continue to endeavor to create a positive culture in our local community where others feel encouraged to make a difference to the lives of those around them too. Our faith is at the heart of what we do and inspires us every day to make positive choices to help those who need it most.
What do our Youth SVP members think?
- "I have joined the Youth SVP because I love religion and I want to help make a difference in the world" (Harley Freeman, Year 8)
- "I joined the SVP group because I wanted to be involved in things, and lead activities to support and help my community" (Davina Larsson, Year 9)
- "I am part of the Youth SVP to put my faith into action. As a Christian, I want to help all my neighbours" (Ketsia Makondele, Year 10)
Who can join?
The Youth SVP group is open to anyone in years 7-10. If you would like to make a difference in our community through charity-centred work which is rooted in our faith, please speak to Miss White.