Leeds Primary School Pupils Inspired to Take Climate Change Action!

Leeds primary school pupils have pledged to take climate change action and ‘go outside more’ after an inspiring visit from a CAFOD gap year student. 

Sophie Aulton

Step into the Gap volunteer Sophie Aulton

Sophie Aulton is spending a year taking part in CAFOD’s ‘Step into the Gap’ programme and visited St Anthony’s Catholic Primary School in Beeston and St Mary’s Catholic Primary School in Rothwell.

The 22-year-old taught St Anthony’s pupils about CAFOD’s Power to Be campaign, which focuses on how supporting cleaner, renewable forms of energy can help people living in poverty around the world.

The Year 2,3,5 and 6 students were motivated by Sophie to take action after being shown the story of Veronica, a Kenyan girl who has benefited from solar panels being fitted at her school.

The pupils then wrote their own heartfelt messages to form a sun.
Sophie said: “The children learned that not everyone in the world is as fortunate as they are, and that the funny things on top of some of their houses, solar panels, can make a huge difference to people’s lives.

“My favourite part of that visit was when one child said that to save energy he would start to play outside more instead of playing on his computer all the time!”

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Children wrote their own messages to form a sun

Sophie will spend the year campaigning, fundraising and raising awareness of CAFOD’s work at a UK placement. The volunteer will also make an international trip to El Salvador to meet vulnerable communities that the charity works alongside. 

When Sophie visited St Mary’s Primary School, she taught pupils about CAFOD’s values.

 
She continued: “My gap year is going well so far and one of my favourite parts of it is going into schools!

“I do love making students aware of social injustice issues that they don’t usually think about.”

CAFOD’s Power to Be campaign hopes to raise awareness that currently, one in six people live without electricity globally. Local, renewable energy is usually the cheapest and most efficient way to bring power to the poorest communities.

It means that families don’t have to rely on dangerous and unhealthy energy sources such as paraffin lamps and firewood. It enables children to study after dark, nurses to keep vaccines cold and farmers to irrigate crops.

For more information, visit our website.

 

 

 

Step Into the Gap

Are you aged 18 – 30 and thinking about taking a gap year? Passionate about global justice? Want to put your faith into action volunteering for a charity?

stig-poster-picStep into the Gap, CAFOD’s gap year programme, is an opportunity to volunteer in the UK, gain experience, develop leadership skills and visit an international CAFOD partner

The deadline for applications to CAFOD’s gap year programme is fast approaching. For anyone aged 18 – 30: an opportunity to volunteer in the UK, gain experience, develop leadership skills and visit CAFOD partners overseas.

The deadline is 13th March. For all information and how to apply visit www.cafod.org.uk/Education/CAFOD-Gap-year

For more information, please contact Catherine Jones or Lucy Jardine on 0207 095 5308

CAFOD volunteers give 4 key tips for successful volunteering

To celebrate National Volunteer’s Week, we asked volunteers from across the North East for their key tips and tricks that they could give to others. Here they chat to media coordinator Katie Binns about what they have learnt and what mistakes not to make:  

  1. “Use familiar objects to help children understand your message or appeal” 
Jo woodhead

Jo giver her tip to help Schools volunteers

Jo Woodhead,  schools volunteer for the Leeds diocese, explains why using familiar objects works so well with children: “When I was giving a schools workshop on a famine campaign last year, I split the children into groups to represent continents and gave them each different amounts of bread rolls. I shared it out unequally to get the message across that many communities in Africa have very little to eat compared to us here in the UK. They understood almost instantly and started a discussion on what we could do to help. Remember though to explain what the bread is for before handing it out otherwise the students will have eaten it all before you have begun your workshop!”

2. “Always write down and reflect on what you did that worked well”

Danielle Storey 2

Danielle suggests how to talk to the CAFOD community

Danielle Story, Step into the Gap volunteer from the Hexham and Newcastle diocese, shares her tip on talking to members of the CAFOD community: “Always do a fun but short icebreaker with any group you meet, you can use it to introduce the theme you are there to talk about. Also write down everything you’ve done after the talk or event so you can go back to it if you ever need to do something similar in another parish or to get more ideas and inspiration – I always forget what I’ve done otherwise and wouldn’t be able to improve as a volunteer!”

3. “Keep yourself up to date with CAFOD’s latest campaigns and appeals”

Liam Finn

Liam explains why doing your research is key

Liam Finn, UK News Officer and previous office volunteer for the Middlesbrough diocese, explains why researching before any event is key: “I’ve worked with CAFOD supporters across the country who have run races, walked on marches, or prayed on pilgrimages to support our appeals and campaigns – finding out their stories and telling them to a wider audience in newspapers, on radio and television, and in blogs and tweets. I would definitely say find out as much as you can about the different things that are going on in CAFOD – what we’re campaigning on or fundraising for. That way you know what to look for or talk about at every event.”

4. “Try to look at the story from a different angle”

Jo Hendrick

Joanne working in the Nottingham volunteer centre

Communications volunteer Joanne Hendrick, from the Nottingham diocese, explains how to write an engaging CAFOD piece: “I guess something I’ve always used from working in Communications, is not to just document an event for article verbatim, but make notes on the atmosphere too-it’s always helped me to make a piece of writing come alive!”

Find out how you can become a CAFOD volunteer