Thank you to all CAFOD local volunteers in our Diocese

National Volunteers Week started yesterday.

We want to take this opportunity to say “THANK YOU” to all the wonderful school and parish volunteers across the Diocese of Leeds who put their faith into action and help others to care for our common home.

 

 

1-7 June marks Volunteers’ Week – an annual celebration of the millions of people who give up their time to help their communities and country. And this year, there are more people to thank than ever before.

For ore information about how to celebrate our volunteers click here

A record-breaking year

6,305 CAFOD volunteers in England and Wales across 15 volunteering roles gave an average of 27,862 hours each month.

That’s the equivalent of 334,344 hours over the course of a year – a record-breaking 100,000 more hours than last year!

Top tips to get your congregation get online

Following the Coronavirus outbreak, many parishes have moved their services online. In the initial few days of lockdown, our local CAFOD worker Bronagh Daly volunteered her Sunday to bring an online version of Children’s Liturgy to young families, interested in keeping a bit of normality to their Sunday routine.

online pic of the liturgy2020

There are so many different tools to help people get online, but it can be difficult to know where to start. CAFOD volunteer Serga Collett, from St Laurence’s church in Cambridge, shares her top tips:

  1. Create a social media community

“Father is working hard to create a community – this is an interesting process and it’s amazing how quickly people have mobilised. Social media is always there. It is such an immediate way to contact people, which is so good.” CAFOD has its own Facebook community too!

  1. Use existing channels to promote new things

“We now live-steam masses every day and post about them in our weekly newsletter and on Facebook to remind everyone.” Diocese of Leeds online streaming

  1. Set up a tech team of parish volunteers

“We have an amazing tech team. If anyone visits the church website and has a problem, the number for the tech team is on there and they can help. This is especially important for parishioners who aren’t used to everything being online.”

  1. Use online tools to set up meetings

“We have used meeting platforms such as Zoom to have an ‘Ablaze’ mass experience for our confirmation candidates.” In the Diocese of Leeds, maybe we could set up an online group for CAFOD volunteers to discuss how we can all stay connected in these challenging time. Send me an email bdaly@cafod.org.uk to Bronagh know your ideas and availability.

  1. Even if you encounter difficulties, make sure to persevere

“In these times, computers are a real live-saver. Through technology, you can see how many people are out there, and while you can’t meet them face to face, you can still see them and speak to them.”

You can read Serga’s full blog here: https://blog.cafod.org.uk/2020/04/16/helping-your-congregation-get-online/. And, if you would like to share your story, do get in touch.

What treasured item has helped get you through lockdown?

 

Ellouise with book and coffee

Elouise and her treasured cuppa and good book!

The period of lockdown has been a massive change for all of us – and each one of us has that one special item that has helped get us through.

Here at the CAFOD, we’re creating a story about the items that have helped our supporters and volunteers across the country stay happy and healthy during lockdown.

 

Whether it is knitting needles, a musical instrument, a yoga mat or mixing bowl – we’d love to compile all your stories and share them on the CAFOD website and in the media.

 

If you’d like to get involved, then please email a landscape picture of yourself holding your treasured item along with your name, age, profession, location, and 50-75 words about your treasured item to Elouise in our media team: ehobbs@cafod.org.uk

 

Connecting to the wider church

 

Founding mothers

Founding mothers of CAFOD 

Thanks to streaming technology, many parishes are now able to live-stream Sunday mass – and the theology team here at CAFOD have been working hard to create time to connect the wider CAFOD family.

On Thursday 23 April we have an online opportunity for prayer and chat. And, next Wednesday 29 April, Fr Liam will be saying mass for all CAFOD volunteers and supporters at 6pm.

You can sign up to both talks here: https://cafod.org.uk/Volunteer/Online-talks

We hope you have a wonderful week, and if you’d like to get in touch, please feel free to ring or email us on: leeds@cafod.org.uk or call Bronagh Daly on her CAFOD mobile 07748 514641

Stepping into Cambodia

Earlier this year, five young adults from CAFOD’s Step into the Gap programme were transformed when they travelled to Cambodia to see the work of CAFOD and its partners first hand.Cambodia promo 2020 STIG pic b

Hugh, Daisy, Francis, Orla and Rebecca saw the work of two CAFOD partners, Cambodian Organisation for Children’s Development (COCD) and Karuna Battambang Organisation (KBO). Inspired by some remarkable people, Orla shared that “the happiness and joy of the people has been undeniably infectious, making each encounter as beautiful as the next.” They visited a variety of agricultural projects such as chicken rearing and vegetable farming as well as Water and Sanitation projects. One project was focussed on accessing toilets safely where people wouldn’t have to journey into the jungle, another project taught school children how to wash their hands. Now back in the UK, in the face of COVID-19, it has become even more clear how important and life saving projects like these can be.

Cambodia Promo 2020 STIG pic c

“Going to Cambodia was really life changing for me, I saw how the Catholic community of England and Wales, by supporting the work of CAFOD, does really make a difference to so many people’s lives around the world.” Hugh Cafferky, current participant of Step into the Gap. “We were so blessed to be able to spend time with the communities that CAFOD works with and to learn about their lives as well as the difference chicken rearing and other projects can make.”

As well as this 3 week visit to CAFOD’s partners, the gappers spend their year in placements including youth retreat centres, university and school chaplaincies where they develop leadership skills and share their passion for social justice with the wider community. It offers young adults between 18 and 30, the opportunity to gain new experience and inspire a generation of people to act for the poorest and most marginalised.

Cambodia promo 2020 STIG

Now back in the UK, the gappers were hoping to return to their placements and share the stories and lessons they learnt in Cambodia but with the lock down, the gappers are coming up with alternative ways to share about their experience! Two of the participants would love you to join their interactive webinar: Cambodia and Step into the Gap on 30th April. You can register close to the time on CAFOD’s website https://cafod.org.uk/Volunteer/Online-talks.

There are still placements available for September, so if you are between 18-30 and want to inspire others to create a fairer and more just world, then visit www.cafod.org.uk/gapyear. As part of the programme you will have the opportunity to see the work of CAFOD first hand for 3 weeks and spend the year in one of our UK placements.