Members of St Vincent de Paul with Young St Vincent de Paul Conference: Pat Walsh, John Woodcock, Geoff Meagher, Ava Murphy, Rachel Holohan, Maeghann O’Mahony, Kate Allen, Hannah Joyce and Kevin O’Don
Students from Loreto Secondary School’s Young St Vincent de Paul Conference successfully collected over 100 boxes of food through their Christmas hamper appeal.
This is an annual event undertaken by the students. The school has an active SVP Conference in place.
The Society really appreciates the support of students, teachers and parents in making this happen every year.
Kilkenny’s Loreto Secondary School has a long history of involvement with the Society of St Vincent de Paul, going back over 30 years.
It was only in the last six years that the introduction of Youth Conferences in second level schools became national policy for the Society. It was then that the Society appointed a Youth Officer to each SVP Region in the country. Debbie O’Halloran currently holds that position in the South East and co-ordinates the efforts of the 28 schools affiliated to the Society in the Region.
Loreto, having had years of experience working with SVP prior to this, helped lead the way and practices that had evolved over the years were adapted for other second level schools.
For the most part, students involved with SVP usually do so in Transition Year and in the case of Loreto many students do a segment of their work-experience in the SVP shop in Butts Green.
SVP Youth Conferences elect their own President, Secretary and Treasurer under the supervision of a teacher. In the earlier years Marita Lanigan filled that role and was in turn followed by Julie Mackey.
The Youth Conference works closely with St Canice’s Visitation Conference at Christmas. Students in the school collect non-perishable items of food and the Youth Conference members box the items for collection and ultimately for distribution to needy families in the parish.
Members of the Youth Conference attend an Annual Regional Gathering of SVP students from the 28 schools in the Area and there they make a presentation to their peers on the projects they have undertaken during the academic year.
Members of St Canice’s Visitation Conference are pleased to be associated with the students of Loreto Secondary School, and thank them for their hard work.
“The girls are a credit to their parents and teachers and we hope that in years to come, they may, because of their experience working with Loreto SVP, be inspired to become members of a Visitation Conference as adults.
“St Canice’s SVP Conference has, through the benevolence of it’s many donors over the years, been able to help out many families in need.
“Christmas is a time when these families struggle to make ends meet. All of this great work happened under the capable leadership of the SVP Youth Conference in the school with the help of their teachers and under the direction of Mr Conor McCrossan.
“We thank management and staff for their great work in developing such a strong social conscience in their very talented students.”