Congratulations to our young leaders!

Congratulations to all our young leaders who have now completed our Young Leadership programme this year.  Year 12 students from across the diocese travelled to CAFOD Head Office in London for their last session, to explore our campaigns work and celebrate everything they’ve achieved.  Thank you so much to all the students from our diocese including the Brentwood Ursuline, Holy Family Sixth Form in Walthamstow and Chelmsford Sixth Form College.

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Young leaders from Brentwood, Southwark and Portsmouth dioceses together at a day of celebration at Romero House in April

During the last six months, six young people from our diocese have learnt about CAFOD’s vision, mission and values, explored different issues of social justice and received leadership training in communication skills, planning and project management.

In between the training sessions they’ve been putting their knowledge and skills into practice by organising fundraising activities, taking campaigning actions, delivering assemblies and encouraging others to learn more about CAFOD’s work.

The leaders have collectively reached out to thousands of people through their volunteering since the programme began.  Thank you all!

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Brentwood’s young leaders promoting our campaign ‘Power to Be’ outside Southwark Cathedral

Here at CAFOD Brentwood, we try to log everything the young leaders do and they’ve carried out some great activities this year including fundraising by selling hotdogs, organising the signing of messages of hope for refugees and giving assemblies at school raising awareness of the refugee crisis.

Some of the young leaders have created their own Instagram page to raise awareness of CAFOD’s work. They have helped their schools raise thousands of pounds for the refugee crisis and our Lent Fast Day appeal.

Students had also volunteered at Flame, visited the Houses of Parliament and met their MPs, written articles for magazines and messages of hope to refugees.

As well as reflecting on their volunteering experience, the leaders explored CAFOD’s advocacy work and our new ‘Power to be’ campaign on the importance of local, renewable energy.

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Brentwood young leaders with a ‘Power to Be’ sun, with messages urging the world’s powers to do more for people in developing who lack access to renewable energy. 

They also looked at ways they can stay involved after their ‘graduation’, and how they can continue to make an impact in their communities, in solidarity with the communities we work with around the world.

It was a great day of celebration of all that the young leaders have achieved and all the time, energy and effort they’ve given to support CAFOD’s work.

Thank you so much to all the young people who’ve journeyed with us this year and our special thanks to all their teachers and staff who have supported them. We really appreciate all your help.  Already looking forward to next year!

Get inspiration and tools to help you take the lead in fighting for justice around the world.

New Hall celebrates 15 years of soup lunches for CAFOD

New Hall school in Boreham has held a school wide Soup Lunch to help turn little fish into Big Fish, as part of CAFOD’s annual Lent fundraising campaign.

Instead of eating as normal, on Friday 3rd March the whole school had a simpler lunch.  Baguettes and a variety of soups – from leek and potato to tomato – were served as the only option.  As a result, 800 students enjoyed the soup alongside 400 staff.  New Hall has been doing soup lunches for the last 15 years at least, making the annual event a firm part of school tradition.

New Hall Students supporting CAFOD

New Hall  students celebrate their Lent fundraising achievement in the school chapel

The school’s fundraiser raised over £500 and their efforts will help provide communities across the world with the means to feed their families, by helping families to receive training to set up their own small businesses, like fish farms. This will enable them to turn one fish into a whole business and provide them with an income to support their families.

Katherine O’Brien, New Hall’s lay chaplain, said of the fundraiser:

“We do this as a way of standing in solidarity with those around the world who are in need.  The students have a high awareness of global issues but something like a soup lunch is a good way of making us all stop and think.  It’s a simple act but it can really make a difference, and it’s a great way of putting Lent into action.”

“Swimmingly well” the verdict after Brentwood school’s fishy fundraiser

St. Helen’s primary school in Brentwood has created a wonderful sea display to help turn little fish into Big Fish, as part of CAFOD’s annual Lent fundraising campaign.

Each student drew the outline of a large fish and covered it in coins to create the glistening effect of wet scales.  The fishy fundraiser raised over £300 and their efforts will help provide communities across the world with the means to feed their families, by helping families to receive training to set up their own small businesses, like fish farms. This will enable them to turn one fish into a whole business and provide them with an income to support their families.

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Casting their nets

Miss McLoughlin, the R.E. co-ordinator, said:

“All of us wanted to ‘cast our nets’ and spread our generosity to help others.  We decided to ‘fish for change’ which we believe went ‘swimmingly well!’”

St Helen's, Brentwood

A school of fish at St Helen’s

Freddie, a pupil at St. Helen’s, said:

“I think this fundraising has been good because CAFOD are being helpful by teaching people how to fish and farm fish. It has been nice to look at a silvery fish on our wall and be reminded of people who are less fortunate than us”.