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Members of the Ascot community will benefit from a successful ‘Dragons’ Den’ pitch by pupils from St Francis Catholic Primary School to the Bishop and the ‘Dragons’ of Portsmouth Diocese.

In September 2015 St Francis School established a group of pupils from across the school to become Mini Vinnies (the junior branch of the St. Vincent de Paul charity). The purpose of the group is to organise and promote charitable work within our community.  Building on several successful events so far, they decided to make a pitch to the Portsmouth Diocese for funding for a new project they called “Community Soup”.  

The aim of ‘Community Soup’ is that Mini Vinnies will invite local groups from the parish, small local charitable organisations and school communities to come along to an evening event where they will be given the opportunity to propose a fund raising idea for their own worthy cause while enjoying a delicious soup and bread supper. For example, one group may come along to talk about organising a sponsored walk to raise funds for a child to have specialist treatment for an illness or a community action group may ask for funds to help them to provide meals for the hungry.  


The Mini Vinnies will listen to the suggestions and will allocate small sums of money to the groups that they think have the best ideas. The local groups will then be tasked with using the funds to complete their projects, before reporting back to the Mini Vinnies about how the funds were used and how much additional money was raised. 

St Francis Head teacher Mrs Jane Gow explained that the Mini Vinnies would use the £400 they obtained from the Portsmouth Diocese ‘Dragons’  to fund their evening event and to support  other worthy causes. “The purpose of the exercise is to encourage greater interaction in the local community and to pass on the fruits of their fundraising to help others,” she explained.