Inspire younger generations by becoming a CAFOD School Volunteer

Year 2 children at St Antony’s primary school, Woodford Green belong to a CAFOD club

Would you be interested in becoming a CAFOD School Volunteer?, If your answer is YES, please keep reading.

By becoming a CAFOD School Volunteer you will have the opportunity to be part of a global movement building a fairer world, inspiring young people to get involved. If you have spare time during the week to visit schools, do consider this volunteering role. We would love to have more school volunteers in Brighton, Chichester, Worthing, Arundel, Burgess Hill, Dorking, Reigate, Redhill, and Leatherhead areas.

Year 5 pupils from St Antony’s primary school in Woodford Green, London, take part in a moment of prayer and reflection at the end of their introductory workshop to CAFOD’s Power to be campaign.

What is involved? The volunteer will need to visit Catholic schools to deliver a lively and motivating presentation about CAFOD’s work and mission either in an assembly or classroom.  Volunteers can specialise in either primary or secondary schools or both.  CAFOD will provide support and training to carry out this role and supply suitable materials to deliver the presentations.  The work also involves contacting schools (by phone and email), negotiating arrangements for the visit and for the presentation and then following-up with correspondence.

In order to become a School Volunteer, you do not have to be a teacher, but need to have the ability to communicate effectively with children and young people of the appropriate age. You also should be able to find your way around a website and downloading and printing resources, use technology to deliver assemblies and workshops (digital projector, laptop, PowerPoint) or be willing to learn. It is important also to be able to use email as a form of communication. As you will have to visit different schools, the use of car is a distinct advantage.  

Susan Kambalu introduces the Sustainable Development Goals to students at Palmer Catholic Academy.

It is great to have a sense of purpose, knowing that you are doing something useful for a worthwhile cause. Most of our volunteers find this experience satisfying and enjoyable. Children, young people and staff of schools are generally welcoming, enthusiastic and appreciative of visits.  As a CAFOD Volunteer, you will be part of a team and a friendly network of people with shared values and commitment. You will have the opportunity of gaining experience of working in the voluntary sector and expanding your skills set. Together, the School Volunteers are a team that is helping to shape the future for a changed world and you will be part of that!

Please feel free to contact Jenny Finlayson, CAFOD Arundel & Brighton Community Participation Coordinator,
St John’s Seminary, Wonersh, Surrey GU5 0QX 


CAFOD National Volunteer Event 8th June 2019

The first week in June is designated Volunteer Week in the UK. As part of the CAFOD celebrations two national events on the 8th (London) & 15th June (Manchester) were organised to thank and encourage existing volunteers. As a new volunteer of less than one year’s service I was interested and curious to experience the event on 8th June at Westminster Cathedral Hall.  Living in East Sussex this was for me an easy to reach venue but I was surprised and delighted to learn that some volunteers had travelled from more distant places like the Isle of Wight and Swansea and some had come from more northern parts of the country. This gave me a sense of the CAFOD ‘extended family’ that exists.

One of the highlights of the day for me came from listening to Christine Allen the recently appointed Director at CAFOD. Christine takes up her role not only with the experience of her previous charity organisations but having many years ago worked for CAFOD. As I listened to Christine I got the message that she was pleased to be back with the ‘family’. She also mentioned how important and privileged it was for CAFOD to have some 6000 plus volunteers to share in the work in parishes and schools to create a fairer and more just world.

Another highlight for me was when a long-term volunteer of 40 years service was honoured with a Papal Blessing. She was obviously a lot younger than me when she began her volunteer work so I don’t think I can top her record! It was good to be present to witness such committed service.

CAFOD wants to reach everyone where support is needed but insufficient funds means that only 2 out of 3 requests can be met. We listened to 3 members of the International Team pitch for their projects. At each table in the hall we then discussed the merits of the projects with a view to deciding which one would be the one we couldn’t support due to lack of money. This was very difficult as each was worthy of funding. A consensus was reached in the room and this was an example of the daily challenge for the CAFOD team. These were real projects where a decision had already been made by the International Team.

If we want to change the world we need to be able to tell the story well because there is power in personal and corporate stories. This is what we heard in the ‘Telling Your Story’ workshop. We told our stories to each other – how we became involved with CAFOD – and gave feedback on what we saw, felt and thought as each person spoke. This exercise was then used to read and reflect on some of CAFOD’s stories of overseas work. As we reflect on other people’s stories they begin to integrate with our story. How can we share these stories with those in our parishes and schools to create a culture of encounter as opposed to indifference?

As the day came to an end we said goodbye to our fellow volunteers with the expectation that we would meet again at a future training or event day.

Why not consider volunteering for CAFOD? We need people to help deliver the message throughout the diocese. There are many different volunteering opportunities for people in England and Wales with different skills to offer – including: volunteering in parishes, schools, campaigning, corresponding with MPs working in the office and writing prayers. For further information look on our website in the volunteering section.

Isabel Cameron

Campaign Volunteer Coordinator and School Volunteer for CAFOD Arundel and Brighton

Our Lady Star of the Sea Parish fundraising for Lent

A special thank you to the parishioners of Our Lady Star of the Sea for all their fundraising efforts for Lent Fast Day.  Frugal lunches were held each week over the Lent period, raising over £900. An amazing effort!

A new fundraising idea was carried out involving the youth of the parish too. They were each given a full tube of smarties and were given the challenge to fill the empty smartie tubes with 20p coins. Some of them even managed to fit £12 worth of 20ps. 

A group of local parishioners knitted adorable rabbits with cream eggs raising over £100 for CAFOD.

All these efforts are very much appreciated, and they make such a difference towards helping CAFOD reach and support people in need around the world.

We invite you to look for more fundraising ideas  to keep supporting CAFOD. These easy fundraising ideas can be adapted to use at schools, parishes and work with young people, friends, family and colleagues.

You can find more help and advice in our How to fundraise guide  and our health and safety pages.

CAFOD A&B would like to thank Our Lady Star of the Sea Parish for their amazing fundraising efforts.