Young Leaders meet at St Paul’s College, Burgess Hill for the second training day

At CAFOD we recognise that young people can make a huge difference, which is why we want to equip senior students to be Young Leaders  in their local and global communities. CAFOD’s Young Leadership Programme is designed for Sixth Formers and provides them with training to develop leadership skills.

On Thursday 22 January, St Paul’s Catholic College in Burgess Hill kindly hosted CAFOD’s second training day for  Young Leaders. We were given a warm welcome by Headteacher Rob Carter and School Chaplain Christian Nobleza. The day was ably led by CAFOD’s Sinead Callaghan, Young Leadership Coordinator. There were over forty sixth former attendees from schools across Arundel and Brighton including: St Peter’s Catholic School Guildford, Salesian College Chertsey, Cardinal Newman School Hove, St Paul’s Catholic College Burgess Hill and St Wilfrid’s Catholic School Crawley.

Students were firstly given the opportunity to feedback on leadership projects from last term. I was amazed at how brilliantly these young people engaged with one another and enthusiastically shared what they had done previously; such as preparing a quiz on human rights defenders, creating a display board on human rights defenders to raise awareness, speaking to Yr.7s on the impact of climate change, leading CAFOD assemblies and liturgies to primary and younger secondary students within their own schools, organising charity cake sales and promoting world gifts. Students from one school even gave a detailed explanation on how they had improved the school wide recycling system – through research, planning and implementation.   

The day involved prayer, reflection, icebreakers, a session understanding CAFOD’s  values  whilst motivating listeners to become engaged in CAFOD projects to work for a fairer more just world. The students identified examples of ‘good communication’ after watching Simon Sinek’s video which emphasised; ‘people don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it,’ and were asked to link this concept for speaking up for a more just world.  After lunch, they watched a Lent video about Human Rights Defenders, examined some case studies and matched them to some sustainable development goals. Later they watched a football fundraiser video and were challenged to plan a football fund raising event for Lent within their own schools.

My thanks to Sinead Callaghan for leading the day, Christian Nobleza and St Paul’s students and staff for hosting the event, staff and chaplains from the schools who supported the day; but most of all, to the Young Leaders 2019-2020. You are an inspiration!

There certainly is HOPE for the future when you see the commitment, compassion, energy, drive and creativity of these young people empowered to make a difference. We look forward to seeing you all again for the final day in April.

New Year’s Resolutions giving you the January Blues? Put a smile on someone’s face and become a CAFOD volunteer

We all know that dreaded sinking feeling. It’s 6 January and, despite promising this year was going to be different, your New Year’s Resolution feels hopelessly impossible.

2020 is the time to shake things up. Make a commitment to help others and volunteer with CAFOD. Not only will you gain new friends and skills, but you’ll be integral in supporting our life-saving work.

From volunteering with your local parish to spreading the word through campaigning, this resolution will support our mission to ensure everyone can reach their full potential and live with dignity.

We have a whole range of volunteering opportunities available, from parish and school volunteering, to campaigning and events opportunities, to prayer writing and working to promote CAFOD in local and social media.

It doesn’t matter how much time you can volunteer for – it matters that you’re doing it.

Despite what our climate zero heroes would have you believe, not all heroes wear capes and every volunteer is a hero in our eyes. Let’s step into the new year together and make a real difference.

Want to get involved? Contact us now!

Telephone: 01483 898 866



General election 2019: how the people of Arundel and Brighton can help the world’s poorest people this election

Ahead of the general election on Thursday 12 December, it is important voters raise issues important to them with local candidates. Here are some issues you can raise with your candidates to help speak up for the world’s poorest communities.

The aid budget is vital for tackling poverty. We need to ensure that it is focused on the needs of the world’s poorest people.
What can I say? “What will you, and your party, do to continue to tackle poverty overseas and to protect the quality of UK aid?”

Climate change
Thousands of CAFOD supporters from from the SE campaigned to persuade the government to set a new climate change target. Now, politicians need to act.
What can I say? “The government has set a net zero emissions target of 2050. Do you support this target and how will you, and your party, make tackling climate change a priority to prevent more people being pushed into poverty by the climate crisis?”

How to vote

You can register to vote online. The website offers instructions on how to register, including how to receive a postal vote.

When you’ve registered to vote, you will receive a polling card with information on which polling station you can vote at. You can also enter your postcode and find your polling station.

More thoughts to follow on the General Election in future blogs.