Julia runs the extra mile for CAFOD

St Bede’s (Chadwell Heath) parishioner Julia Galea, 60, took her place along 39,000 others last Sunday morning to take part in her second London Marathon. She raised £1700 for CAFOD and the Annabelle Rose Foundation.

On the chilly early morning of the 36th London Marathon, Julia Galea awoke before her alarm went off, a sign she thinks that she must have been well rested. She felt relaxed on the journey to the Greenwich Park starting point, but when she arrived she started to feel a bit cold and nervous. Now an ‘experienced’ marathon runner, Julia is used to the pre-race routine: dropping off her bags, putting her number put on her vest and the timing chip on her shoes.

A determined Julia sporting the distinctive green CAFOD badge on her vest

A determined Julia sporting the distinctive green CAFOD badge on her vest


The nerves subsided somewhat once she started to run and heard the bands playing uplifting music and people cheering and shouting out her name. All went very well and according to her time plan until she developed cramp at 19 miles which slowed her down. How am I to get through the last 7 miles, she thought to herself.

The encouragement of the crowd pulled her through and despite the problem of cramp, Julia managed to finish in 4 hours 18 minutes, just 2 minutes slower than her time last year. A remarkable achievement once again. Accompanied by her daughter to the CAFOD meeting place, all Julia wanted was a cup of tea and a shower. She got the tea but had to put up with just a foot bath to help revive her aching feet. Some kind soul did give her a very welcome leg massage though.

Another London Marathon done for Julia. Reflecting on her experience, Julia says, ‘So much preparation goes in the marathon and you need to cover many miles in training as 26.2 miles is a long run by anyone’s standards. I’m very proud of the achievement and to raise funds for CAFOD and the Annabelle Rose Foundation at the same time is very satisfying’. Will she back again next year? Julia is not forthcoming on this at the moment: ‘I shall be resting now for a while before I make a decision regarding any future marathons!’

Are you interested in fundraising for CAFOD? Join ‘Team CAFOD’ and take part in a sponsored event…


Pupils walk around the Olympic Park for CAFOD

Before breaking up for Easter, pupils at St Joseph’s Catholic School in Leyton have been busy fundraising for our Lent campaign to help families across the world have access to clean, drinking water.


Pupils at Quwwat-ul-Islam Girls School and St Joseph’s Catholic Junior school

The school have so far raised over £400 for people thousands of miles away by walking around the Olympic Park before breaking up for the Easter holidays.

Donate to our Lent campaign


Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park

“The students and staff enjoyed the walk with St Joseph’s school and hope that they can collaborate in various projects, activities and fundraisers in the future.

Working together to help the community shows how united we all are. Together, we achieve more.”

Pupils and staff from St Joseph’s Catholic Junior School held a sponsored walk around the park, to support Catholic charity CAFOD’s  Lent fundraising appeal, raising awareness about how far people across the world have to walk for water.

All fundraising efforts for our  Lent  campaign will be doubled by the UK Government up until May.

All fundraising efforts for our  Lent  campaign will be doubled by the UK Government up until May.

As well as their sponsored walk, the school have been raising money every week, through cake sales and colour themed non-uniform days. Each class has a ‘money well’ which is a container filled with water and decorated with by pupils’ own paper water droplets, where the children have been donating their pocket money.

One pupil from St Joseph’s school said:

“We were walking during Lent to raise money for CAFOD. It was a good idea to walk around the park, despite it being so windy, as it helped us to experience what children in other countries experience when they have to walk to get their water.”

Children at waterpump

Right now, 650 million people are living without access to clean water. 2.5 billion people lack something as basic as a toilet and sewage system to flush away their waste. It is also estimated that women and girls spend 125 million hours a day collecting water, which means time away from work, school or playing with friends.

Donate to our Lent campaign

Head Teacher, John Alexander said:

“It is very important that our pupils become aware of issues and problems that affect people, particularly children around the world. Through supporting international charities such as CAFOD the pupils gain a better understanding of their work in places such as Africa and Central America and how the money raised is used for long term relief. At St Joseph’s we want the children to learn beyond the classroom and truly become citizens of the world.”

The money raised by the school will give children, particularly girls, around the world a better chance of being able to go to school – girls such as 15-year-old Guti from Uganda.

Guti nearly dropped out of school because there was no clean, safe water and had to walk to the river for water to drink or to wash.

CAFOD partners were able to repair the water pump near Guti’s school, provided a portable sink and soap for handwashing, and trained teachers to help pupils learn good hygiene routines. This has meant fewer pupils miss school due to illness and some girls are taking high-school exams that only boys took before.

Over 100 pupils at Quwwat-ul-Islam Girls school’ in Newham, who are raising money for Macmillan Cancer Support joined alongside St Joseph’s Catholic school in solidarity.

Ms Suraiya Zannath, organiser, at Quwwat-ul-Islam Girls school said:”The students and staff enjoyed the walk with St Joseph’s school and hope that they can collaborate in various projects, activities and fundraisers in the future.

CAFOD’s representative in Leyton, Chris Driscoll said:

“Walking around the Olympic Park and joining our neighbours in solidarity is a fantastic idea. We are really grateful for all their hard work. On behalf of CAFOD, we’d like to say a huge thank you to the pupils at St Joseph’s for their generosity.”

Donate to our Lent campaign

Join us online and learn more about CAFOD’s work in Uganda!

This Lent Fast Day, Friday 19 February, from 1:30 – 2:30pm, you are invited to join a webinar to hear how your support has made a difference in the lives of real people.

This Lent you will hear all about how you can ‘turn on the taps’ for communities in Uganda. In this webinar Catherine Ogolla, our country representative for Kenya and Uganda, and her team will share stories of communities in North East Uganda,  .

This Lent your donations with be matched by the UK government up to the value of £3 million so we can make double the difference.

Children at waterpump

Children at a water pump near their school                                                           CAFOD/David Mutua

Why join?

Webinars with CAFOD are an amazing way to visit the countries we work in. You can hear from the people working on the ground who bring the projects you support to life. It’s not just about listening, you will also have the opportunity to ask our Uganda team questions and hear what other CAFOD supporters think too.

How does it work?

Taking part in a webinar is easy. All you need to do to is click on the link below and register with your name and email. You will then receive a confirmation email with a link you can use to join the webinar. In order to listen you will need either speakers or headphones.

Register now>>


If you’d like to join, but you aren’t sure how, email Elly on eheans-glogowska@cafod.org.uk or call 0207 095 5332.