Pupils at a Coventry school have thrown a festive get-together for more than 30 care home residents just a few days before Christmas. 

Year 12 pupils at Cardinal Wiseman Catholic School – part of the Romero Catholic Academy – planned, raised money for and hosted the event, which brought together visitors from Anchor Care Home in Wyken Croft and parishioners from St John Fisher and St Patrick’s Catholic Church for an afternoon of tea and cakes, bingo and a performance from the school’s choir.

The group of 50 students, aged 16 to 17, used bake sales to generate more than £300 in donations from the school community, and split into teams to plan and then host the event at the school’s chapel.

Festive decorations, tablecloths and cutlery were donated by staff and parents, with Cardinal Wiseman’s catering team creating freshly made stollen, fruitcake and macarons which the pupils served to guests.

The project was delivered in collaboration with the St Vincent de Paul Society through its Youth SVP programme. The society supports voluntary action across England and Wales to offer friendship and support to isolated people. 

Cardinal Wiseman pupil Tom Stephens said: “We knew we wanted to give back to the community over Christmas so it was brilliant to be able to bring so many people together, especially those who may be isolated from their families at this time of year.”

Tom Scott-Machin, Lay Chaplain at Cardinal Wiseman Catholic School, said: “This has been a remarkable student-led project, and their passion for this event has meant they have taken ownership of all aspects of the planning and delivery.

“It’s a wonderful thing to do at this time of year and we’ll definitely be thinking about how we can host similar events for the community.”

Kajeen in Year 12 said: “It’s been a great project to be involved in and we’ve learnt a lot from the process.”

Laila in Year 12 said: “We’ve been planning this since September and it’s really nice to see the results.”

Over 800 adult SVP groups, 106 Youth SVP groups in secondary schools and colleges and over 400 Mini Vinnie groups in primary schools have helped to create a network that turns concern into action across England and Wales.

Julia Fitzgerald, Youth SVP Manager, said: “The SVP was started nearly 200 years ago by a group of students who saw a need in their community and were moved by their faith to action. 

“Cardinal Wiseman Youth SVP is a living expression of that same energy and heart being kept alive through these small moments of significance. We look forward to seeing what the Youth SVP at Cardinal Wiseman do next.”

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