Eleanor Margetts, a CAFOD volunteer at St Joseph’s Brighton spoke at the Member of Parliament Correspondents reception in the house of Parliament this week. She told us
“On Monday evening this week, I had the incredible honour to be asked to speak at the Houses of Parliament about my experience of volunteering with CAFOD. The event was an MP Correspondents (MPC) reception, inviting those CAFOD volunteers who are communicating campaigns and messages to their local representatives to share an evening with MPs in the Speakers Rooms of Parliament. It was, to say the least, an intimidating crowd; I was on the line-up of speakers which included Rt Hon John Bercow, Rob Flello MP and Chris Bain, Director of CAFOD. It felt both exhilarating and terrifying to be placed alongside such amazing public speakers so I was a little bit daunted at the prospect!
So the evening began with a drinks reception, where I got a chance to mingle and chat to some of CAFODs MPCs; it was very comforting to meet such a supportive audience! There were about sixty people there in total, and it felt so incredible to be attending this event in such an historic room. I had never been to the Houses of Parliament before, so I was in awe of the beauty of the place, and the slightly surreal feeling that I would actually be talking there!
The event could not have come at a better time; in the midst of the scramble towards the June election, it was so important to have an event that emphasised the importance of not letting domestic issues in the UK overshadow the cry of the poor across the world. Mr Speaker gave a wonderful welcome and introduction to the talks wherein he emphasised the injustice of global poverty and the importance of engaging with our MPs to ensure that it is on the agenda for the coming election. CAFOD MPCs volunteer their time to communicate with their respective MPs about global justice, and have such an important role to play in the coming weeks. I was really encouraged by the talks with a sense of hope that the UK, despite the current turbulent political situation, has a real role to play in the shaping of the global future for the better.
This was the theme I attempted to highlight in my talk; that it is important to remember the positives that we can do, and that despite the injustices in the world we are still able to do something about them! I think that it is so easy to forget – especially with the way that the media often presents global issues – that there are so many good people in the world ready and willing to change. I was reminded of this through all of the wonderfully engaged CAFOD MPCs that I met on Monday.”
Many thanks to Eleanor for telling us about her amazing experience. Also thanks to those of our MPC’s in A&B who were also able to attend the training and the reception.
Have you been inspired by Eleanor to become a Member of Parliament Correspondent and write to your MP about important global justice issues. Just sign up on our website.
Eleanor has also written an excellent article for the Huffington Post about raising your voice. It’s well worth a read.