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School grant benefits local community


A Catholic secondary school in the City of Playford has been granted funding that will help strengthen its connections with Vinnies and the local community.

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St Patrick’s Technical College in Edinburgh North was awarded funding through the Catholic Secondary Principals Australia (CaSPA) social action program.

With a rich history of service and close association with Vinnies in Elizabeth, the college allocated the funds to supporting and benefiting the local community through projects of service.

St Patrick’s Community, Spirituality, and Identity coordinator, John Neate, says the funding has enhanced the opportunity for students to be involved in social action by putting into practice one of the core values of the college – service.

“Our students faithfully support those who are in need or marginalised through various social action projects,” he said.

“As a technical college we are always looking for ways for our students to demonstrate the range of trade and personal skills they are developing as young adults at the college.”

Through the funding, the college purchased a new barbecue for students to use at weekly lunches outside the Elizabeth Vinnies shop.

Every Thursday during the school term, Year 11 students cook a barbecue and serve a free lunch to the local community. Before the COVID pandemic, more than 40 people were served.

The new barbecue now resides at the local Vinnies and can be used at any time by the Fred’s Van food service which operates from the same facility.

Fred’s Van provides a hot meal service for the community from the Vinnies dining room. Unfortunately, the demand for the service is much greater than the space available.

The college came to its aid a few years ago and assisted in constructing an outdoor dining area to cater for the overflow of guests. This year, thanks to the CaSPA funding, students made repairs to this area and extended it through the addition of extra tables.

Year 12 construction students designed and carried out the improvements, including adding some much-needed lighting.

Students have continued to support the work of the local Vinnies Conference by preparing and cooking more than 400 meals which are frozen and distributed to those in need.

Mr Neate said the CaSPA funding enabled the college to purchase quality ingredients for students to cook nutritious meals for the local community.

“As part of their health course, all Year 12 students learn about nutrition and some basic cooking techniques,” he explained.

“By preparing these meals for Vinnies, students gain invaluable skills in the kitchen and feel a great sense of satisfaction that they are doing something of significant value and service to others.”

Mr Neate said the support of CaSPA had enabled the college to continue to do what is fundamental to its values – to help young people understand that they have a responsibility to serve others.


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