Reading Launches our Young Leaders

Many thanks to our new CAFOD Young Leaders who attended their first day of training yesterday at St Joseph’s College Reading. Year 12 students from three schools in the diocese signed up to the training: St Peter’s in Guildford, St George’s in Weybridge and Salesians in Chertsey. They joined students from the Portsmouth Diocese meaning that  60 young people have volunteered to be CAFOD Young Leaders.

St Peter's students speaking to the other leaders

St Peter’s students from Guildford speaking to the other leaders

Sarah Burrows from CAFOD’s Youth team started the training by welcoming the students and staff, and reflecting on “our place in the world” . After a few lively ice breakers the students matched up facts  and figures from the World Statistics activity which included the fact the 1.1 billion people don’t have access to electricity.  Then the students explored their idea of a leader and shared their thoughts on the qualities of leadership.

CAFOD's Sarah Burrows inspiring young leaders

CAFOD’s Sarah Burrows inspiring young leaders

The afternoon focussed on CAFOD’s Power to Be campaign and with the help of a variety resources the Young Leaders were asked to produce a short presentation to promote the campaign.

The day concluded with the Power to Be activity where everyone was asked to write a thought or prayer about access to energy on a ray and place it on the sun.

Young leaders have the Power to Be

Young leaders have the Power to Be

Many thanks to the staff from the schools who are supporting the students in this training and for accompanying yesterday. Also thanks to St Joseph’s college Reading who hosted the day and provided excellent refreshments!

We look forward to hearing  how the Young Leaders promote the Power to Be campaign in their schools -do send us your photos, and see you for next training day on 25th January.

Are you inspired? Why not join in our Power to Be campaign or look into taking part in our Gap Year Program.

Perhaps you want to help our work with children and young people and are interested in becoming a Schools Volunteer? Get in touch with us if we can help. or 01483 898 866.

The Power to Be Sun

The Power to Be Sun

Livesimply – not Sackcloth in Ash

We were delighted to hear an update from Ash on their work towards becoming a livesimply parish. Mike Harte, CAFOD Volunteer, said:

‘Our CAFOD team held a combined Live Simply Pledge and Power to Be talk at each weekend Mass recently. Three of our team (there are six of us in total) gave the talk

‘As a result, we received 24 signed Live Simply pledges and 39 completed Power To Be cards, which we presented during the Mass Offertory collections on the subsequent weekend’s Masses. These will be forwarded to CAFOD as part of our Live Simply plan.’

Two of the Ash team encouraging their fellow parishioners to live simply, sustainably and in solidarity with the poor

Two of the Ash team encouraging their fellow parishioners to live simply, sustainably and in solidarity with the poor

The livesimply plan can be seen below:

Live Simply Plan

Live Simply

  1.  Parish families’ nature walk (8th Oct)…..newsletter/notices 24 Sept, 1 Oct
  2. Live Simply banner (recycled materials)….by 1st Oct (Offertory), notices/newsletter 24th ff.
  3. Weekly Live Simply Tip in parish newsletter

Live Sustainably with Creation

  1. Supply flower bulbs to create an outdoor reflection area… 1st Oct (Offertory);
  2. CAFOD Power to Be card signing at Masses 16/17 Sept.
  3. Appoint ‘monitor persons’ for energy saving

Live in Solidarity with People who are Poor

  1. Weekly food bank collection.
  2. Fairtrade stall.
  3. Fairtrade ‘kitchen’


The Livesimply Pledge, designed by the group for the subsequent week was:

I pledge myself to live simply by participating in the parish launch week activities:

Sat/Sunday – short talk and sign Power to Be card

Monday – ensure to turn off lights and TV etc ‘standby’

Tuesday – turn off all laptops, I-phones, etc one hour earlier than normal

Wednesday – cook left-over foods

Thursday – sort out recyclable materials for parish banner

Friday – spend 15-30 minutes in quietness, maybe outside

Sat/Sunday – replace a weekly shopping item with one from our Fairtrade stall

signed:  ………………………

The days could be rearranged to suit the signatories.

CAFOD and Oxfam campaigners campaigning about Sainsbury's 'Fairly Traded' Tea

CAFOD and Oxfam campaigners campaigning about Sainsbury’s ‘Fairly Traded’ Tea

In addition to this the group wrote to four local Sainsbury’s store managers regarding Sainsbury’s new policy of restricting the local farmers control over the financial premium they receive on the sale of all ‘Fairly Traded’ goods.

Mike said ‘While Sainsbury claim to be very supportive of small, poor farming communities, three respondents have promised to pass on our concern about the wording “Fairly Traded” on their products, to the team that deals with this policy.’

Our thanks go to Mike, the CAFOD group and the parish for making great progress on the livesimply award and for raising a voice about Fairtrade.

Trouble’s Brewing: CAFOD supporters protest threat to Fairtrade at Sainsbury’s in Worthing

CAFOD supporters in Worthing have been protesting against Sainsbury’s decision to abandon the Fairtrade mark on some of its own-brand tea.

Campaigners Rod Thick, Dereck Prentis and others in the Worthing Fairtrade Steering Group have written to Sainsbury’s to express their disappointment with the supermarket’s decision to replace the Fairtrade mark on its Red and Gold Label teas with its own ‘fairly traded’ version.

While Fairtrade guarantees producers a fair minimum price for their goods and an additional social premium to invest in their communities, CAFOD campaigners are concerned that Sainsbury’s scheme could see tea farmers lose control of the social premium and instead have to apply to a UK-based board for the funding.

It’s estimated nearly a quarter of a million tea farmers and producers are affected.

Find out more about this campaign 

Sainsbury_s _Waterloo_ Fairtrade protest-5

The group called on the supermarket to reconsider this pilot scheme, and as part of their protest wrote letters to the managers of their local Sainsbury’s stores.

Rod said ‘I handed the letter to the manager and he handed me a copy of Sainbury’s fact sheet about why they’re changing to Fairly Traded.  He was very accommodating & gave us plenty of time to discuss the issue, all he could really say was that policy is dealt with by head office & store manager’s have to carry this out.’

Rod Thick from Worthing speaking to the Manager of his local Sainsbury's store about the importance of Fairtrade

Rod Thick from Worthing speaking to the Manager of his local Sainsbury’s store about the importance of Fairtrade

British tea drinkers account for three quarters of Fairtrade tea sales globally, with Sainsbury’s the world’s largest retailer of Fairtrade.

The Fairtrade Foundation was founded in 1992 by a group of charities including CAFOD, Christian Aid and Oxfam, to create a market of better prices, decent working conditions and fair terms of trade for small-scale farmers. The Fairtrade Foundation estimates more than 1.65 million farmers and workers in 74 countries now get a better deal from Fairtrade.

Sainsbury’s has been a leading retailer of Fairtrade products, making a real difference to the lives of tea farmers and their families in some of the world’s poorest countries. We, and everyone else at CAFOD, would like them to reconsider this decision to remove the Fairtrade mark from their own-brand tea.

If you’d like to get involved then find out more at: