Ian Hamilton is a CAFOD parish volunteer at St Dunstan’s Church Woking.
Here is his volunteering story.
“Our parish priest asked for a volunteer to take over representing CAFOD as the efficient and industrious volunteer was stepping down after years of sterling service. Winding down to early retirement I knew I would have the time but would I have the commitment? I decided to leave it for a few weeks convinced somebody else would step forward. No such luck!
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“I’ve now been the CAFOD volunteer for St. Dunstan’s Parish in Woking for nearly ten years and a personal donor for much longer. What appeals to me about CAFOD? Well although it’s a Catholic charity it reaches out to all, regardless of race or religion. More importantly, through its association with Caritas International, it works with local partners on the ground, so the money we raise goes directly to those in need.
“So what do I do? My main role is to let parishioners know about CAFOD and the work it does. I speak after Mass, particularly just before the two Fast Day money-raising opportunities each year. I write a page in our quarterly magazine which reaches out to the nearly two thousand regular church goers in our parish. Incidentally an amazing seventy one countries are represented among those people – some with direct experience of the hardships CAFOD helps to combat. I also make sure to support the regular cake sales that a dedicated team of volunteers run and which raise very useful sums of money.”
“I also make sure people know my telephone number and email address so anyone can get more information if they want it.”
“I couldn’t do the work half as well if I, like all volunteers, did not have the active support of my regional volunteer centre. Martin and Jo, who run the Arundel and Brighton Centre in Wonersh, Surrey are a godsend.”
“Whether it’s installing a water pump in a village so children don’t miss school because they’re needed to fetch the unhygienic water from a dirty river miles away or responding to a humanitarian crisis with medicines, I know the money we raise for CAFOD is well spent. The few hours I give could not be better spent.”
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“If you would like to share your volunteering story please send it to us with a photo so that we can put it on the blog.
For more information about volunteering for CAFOD please contact Martin or Jo at the Arundel and Brighton volunteer centre or go to the CAFOD main web site.