Nugent Million Pennies Appeal: Children helping children

By Normandie Wragg

'Dear young people, put your talents at the service of the Gospel, with creativity and boundless charity' Pope Francis

In 1854, Nugent’s founder, Father James Nugent arranged a meeting of leading citizens and churchmen in Liverpool Town Hall. His rallying cry was, ‘Save the boy.’ His concern was the plight of the thousands of homeless children who survived in squalor only by begging or stealing.

One of the young people Father Nugent recalled in a speech was Tiny Bill,

'Please Sir, will you spare a poor boy a copper to get a bit of bread with? Do Sir, I'm starving, I haven't tasted anything today. Father's dead and mother's sick and can't get work and we ain't got anything to buy nutting with. Do kind gentleman, just one penny.'

The plight of these young people prompted Father Nugent to arrange, 'Save the Child', meetings which took place at Liverpool Town Hall, at which he campaigned for financial support to help those in need under the slogan: 'Wanted: a million pennies to Save the Boy!' His rallying cry appeared in the Catholic Times in 1866, and collecting boxes were placed in public places across the city.

Some 156 years later, as Nugent heads to its 140th year we are reviving our founder’s rallying cry with our ‘Million Pennies Appeal – children helping children’ We are asking individuals, schools and businesses to try and collect as many pennies as they can from Tuesday 1 September 2020 until #GivingTuesday on Tuesday 1 December 2020.

If we are able to collect one million pennies, this will raise £10,000, which will support the work of Nugent.

This appeal is part of our 2020 Good Shepherd appeal, which Father Nugent started in 1902 and that we have continued every year since:

Through this appeal generations of schoolchildren have continued to support us and use their imagination and come up with some amazing ideas that their friends and staff can take part in. Across the last ten years the appeal has raised over £500,000 to support our work.

Every year the appeal supports people across our communities, from those living in poverty through our food markets in Kirkdale and Woodvale, to providing education for those who need extra support in their learning, and we are proud to be taking Father Nugent’s legacy into 2021, our 140th year.

How to get involved in our Million Pennies Appeal:

If you would like to take part, find out more information, or request one of our collection boxes, please contact our fundraising team on: 0151 261 4498 or email: