Chris Richardson, CAFOD Schools Volunteer shares his experience.

Chris Richardson, CAFOD Schools Volunteer

Chris Richardson, CAFOD Schools Volunteer

We asked Chris Richardson if he would share his experience of volunteering. He said yes!

‘When I retired I wanted to do some volunteering and CAFOD seemed an obvious choice. CAFOD wanted schools’ volunteers and were short of people who were comfortable going into secondary schools so I volunteered. I did the training and have been visiting schools locally for five or six years.

‘In secondary schools it is often possible to work with smaller groups in classroom visits or as part of a carousel on an off-timetable day. It is enjoyable to orchestrate changes in mood in the room from laughter to compassion. On these occasions you feel that you are really making contact, not only with their minds but, in a sense, with their souls.

‘As well as secondary school visits I have also done quite a few primary school visits. These I find rather scary. All those bright, enthusiastic faces, staring at you. But they provide many good moments – random answers given by the very youngest to insightful questions by the more mature.

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‘Delivering CAFOD schools’ assemblies is very easy – the schools are welcoming and the CAFOD material is of a very high quality. New volunteers are trained and given ongoing support and opportunities to work alongside more experienced volunteers until they are confident enough to ‘go solo’.

‘It has been a pleasure to have the opportunity to encourage young people to recognise the needs of others.

Our thanks go to Chris for his dedication and wonderful warmth and humility and also to all our Schools Volunteers. If you are interested in volunteering with us, please do get in touch and we can discuss how you could best join our team.