From supporting people in Zimbabwe to welcoming child refugees to Merseyside – these are just two of the activities already undertaken by a new Justice and Peace youth group in south Liverpool. The still-growing group from the parishes of Our Lady of the Annunciation, Bishop Eton and Saint Mary's, Woolton comprises over 30 children aged between nine and 15 and is assisted by eight youth leaders aged 16–18 and over 20 adult helpers.
Meeting every fortnight, they have performed some impressive work during less than six months working together: from raising £260 for a Zimbabwe project with the sale of unwanted Christmas presents via collecting money for the Red Cross to organising a collection of books for Oxfam The junior J&P group is an active presence in its two parishes, inviting grandmothers from Bishop Eton and St Mary's to a 'Knit and Natter' event whereby the youngsters, in exchange for tea and cake, received lessons in how to knit and crochet squares in order to begin making blankets for homeless people and neo-natal wards.
They have also turned their attention to welcoming child refugees to the city by creating welcome packs – brightly coloured shoe bags filled with items that the children might find helpful along with a postcard from the group. These items were donated by parishioners from Bishop Eton and St Mary's as well as St Clare's, Arundel, another parish eager to get involved. Together the three parishes gathered 100 packs – including toiletries, toys, pencils and colouring books – along with 500 nappies and wipes, which were gratefully received by the Merseyside Refugee & Asylum Seekers Pre and Post-Natal Support Group (MRANG ) and the Belvidere Family Centre (Whitechapel Centre).