“Being a schools volunteer for CAFOD is a positive experience”

Volunteers Week is a particularly good time to recognise the huge value and contribution of volunteers to our work. Here is a reblog on one of our schools volunteers Angela, who has made quite an impact visiting primary schools across the diocese

CAFOD Brentwood

Angela Pavitt is a schools volunteer in the Brentwood Diocese who has been visiting schools for almost a year. Here she reflects on her first year and describes why she thinks it is important for children and young people in schools to hear about CAFOD’s work.

Angela Pavitt croppedWhat is your background and why did you decide to become a schools volunteer for CAFOD?

I was a primary school teacher and therefore familiar with the school environment, although you don’t need to have that classroom experience to be a schools volunteer. There was an advert in our parish newsletter requesting volunteers and it coincided with the death of a close friend, who had worked in Africa most of his priestly life, so I decided to apply to be a volunteer in his memory.

ST PATRICK 1What are the things you enjoy about the role?

I really enjoy going into different schools and engaging with…

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‘I want you to tell them that we bless them’. A thank you message to all our volunteers…

Volunteers’ Week is 1st-7th June.

Our work is impossible without the support of our volunteers across the country. On behalf of CAFOD, our partners and those many, many people who have been enabled with your help to build and rebuild their communities across the world, we thank you.

Watch the ‘Thank You’ video message from CAFOD’s director of Operations, Geoff O’Donoghue.

Volunteers’ Week Events:

You are very welcome to join our Volunteers’ Week Mass of Thanksgiving at Romero House on Wednesday 6th June at 12 noon. This will be followed by a buffet lunch. For catering purposes, please register here.

Geoff O’Donoghue, our Director of Operations, shares our ambition of ‘no one beyond reach’ through the stories of those whose lives have been touched by the compassion of the Catholic community by CAFOD. Register here to join us online or receive an email of the recording.

Hear from our young people about their experience of a CAFOD gap year. Register here to join us online or receive an email of the recording.

South East Regional Mass of Thanksgiving for Volunteers in Farnborough – Saturday 16 June

You are also very welcome to join us at a regional mass of thanksgiving on Saturday 16 June at 2pm the parish of Our Lady Help of Christians,  1A Sherbourne Road Farnborough GU14 6JS https://goo.gl/maps/kgsgHuf7VhN2 Tania Dalton, CAFOD’s Coomunications Officer for Latin America, will speak about our international work and after mass there will be refreshments and cakes and an opportunity to do a Share the Journey walk.  For more information contact us on 01277 218730 or email brentwood@cafod.org.uk

Chelmsford parishioners walk in solidarity with the world’s refugees

Last Saturday 33 parishioners (and a few dogs too!) from the Blessed Sacrament Church in Chelmsford walked in solidarity with refugees and migrants across the world by participating in a Share the Journey walk.


All set to Share the Journey

The Share the Journey campaign aims to inspire people to walk 24,900 miles (the distance around the world) in solidarity with those who have been forced to flee their homes through war, persecution, natural disasters and poverty.

The walk was 1 mile around Melbourne Park so the 33 parishioners clocked up 33 miles which were added to CAFOD’s totaliser. At the time of writing an amazing 20,434 miles had already been walked by CAFOD supporters across the country.


Eileen leading the walk with the Lampedusa Cross

CAFOD parish volunteers Eileen and Peter Webster, who organised the walk, thought the Share the Journey campaign was a great way of raising awareness of the plight of refugees. ‘It highlights the injustices that are suffered by so many people in their own countries. In preparation for September 2018 when world leaders meet in New York, it will remind those who govern, the extent to which we are all aware of the refugee situation and want something done to rectify it.

Listening to comments from participants on the significance of the walk, Eileen learned that:

  • there was also an renewed appetite to do something practical to help refugees and enthusiasm to support local initiatives such as Calais Light which helps refugees in Calais & Dunkirk by helping to cook hot meals
  • explaining the background to the Lampedusa cross and being able to carry one on the walk made the walk all the more significant.
  • reading the 5 refugee stories at various stages of the walk drew attention to firstly, the plight of various refugees and secondly, but more importantly, the ways in which CAFOD has been able to give these people hope and a fresh start in life.

“it will remind those who govern, the extent to which we are all aware of the refugee situation and want something done to rectify it”.


Prayer and reflection on the stories of refugees across the world


Learning how CAFOD is giving displaced people hope and a fresh start in life

At the end of the walk people signed petition cards to send to the Prime Minister appealing for her to work with other world leaders when they meet in September to ensure justice for migrants and refugees.


Walkers signing petition cards