Madeline looks back on her Gap year with CAFOD

We’re now in the last month of my year on CAFOD’s Step into the Gap Programme, and what a year it’s been! From school visits to vegetable quizzes, prayer breakfasts in Leeds to sitting around a fire in Moroto, Uganda, not many can claim that their last year has been so varied!

Madeline Woods with Nicole, Clementina in Uganda

Nicole, Clementina and myself. Clementina is a midwife in a health centre which is supported by CAFOD in Moroto, Uganda. She gives everything she can to her community without a second thought, including ripping up her own bedsheets to make baby blankets!

I have had so many opportunities this year that I never would have had otherwise. My trip to Uganda is the obvious big one, and the things I saw, experienced and learned on that trip will undoubtedly stay with me for the rest of my life. I have been on BBC Radio Leeds 3 times, something which this time last year would have been unimaginable. I have stood in front of a room of 180 Year 7s and spoken about CAFOD without so much as a quiver in my voice, which again, a year ago, would have had me a nervous wreck. I’ve met so many incredible people through CAFOD and through my placement at Leeds Trinity University, and am certain that I have made friends for life. My office at my placement is right next to a beautiful Chapel, too, meaning that whenever I fancy, I can pop in and take some time to sit in the quiet. My faith has developed so much from this, from having conversations with the Chaplaincy team and experiencing retreat opportunities like Youth 2000, and I am going to be leaving this role a more well-rounded and confident person.

Madeline Woods with LTU hannah and Sisters thumbs up and recycle coffee cups

Myself, Hannah (the Chaplain at Leeds Trinity), Sister Catherine Mary and Sister Thérèse at Tea on the Landing, celebrating the launch of our recyclable cups and adding our thumbs-ups to the banner for the Climate Change Lobby on June 26th.

I would like to think that I’m not the only person who has benefitted from my year as a CAFOD Gapper, as I have spoken to many people about the work that CAFOD do and what they can do to make their world a better place – with a month left to go, the official number of people I have spoken to about CAFOD is at over 1,000!

 

I’ll take this opportunity to thank everyone I have met throughout the last year. Leeds Trinity University Chaplaincy, everyone at Trinity, my fellow gappers, CAFOD Leeds, broader CAFOD staff and volunteers… the list goes on!

 

On to the next adventure…

Click the link if you would like to know more about CAFOD’s gap year programme Step into the Gap or call (0113) 275 9302 to speak to Bronagh.

18th May Holy Name, Leeds: Climate Conversation

poster screen grab

Madeline Woods is a ‘Step into the Gap’ volunteer for CAFOD and this weekend she will be helping the Live Simply’ group from the parish of Our Lady of Kirkstal, to host a Climate Conversation and activities, at Holy Name Church Hall, Cookridge from 2pm – 4pm.

The Live Simply group have invited Alex Sobel MP to meet children from the local catholic primary and secondary schools as well as members of the cubs, scouts and brownies groups. Families who attend the Children’s Liturgy sessions in all three churches in the parishes have also been invited. There will be organised activities for all ages, and a discussion about how we can all act to make our daily lives less damaging to the planet.

The event is targeted at those under the age of 15 and their families who would like to know more about how they can get involved to shape communities of the future, with lowered carbon emissions, sustainable renewable energy and reduced burden on our planet’s natural resources. gappers car uganda

Madeline has recently returned from a CAFOD trip to Uganda and is keen to share her stories from her visit with the young people who will be attending.

 

“At this event, we will have an inter-generational discussion about how we can all act on climate change, both as individuals and collectively as a parish. Every effort we make to reduce our carbon emissions will have a positive impact for those living in the world’s poorest countries, who often feel the impact of climate change the worst.”

If you would like to attend, please email hnoffice.ourladyofkirkstall@dioceseofleeds.org.uk so we know how many people to expect.

What: Climate Conversation
Who: Alex Sobel MP Leeds North, Madeline Woods (CAFOD Gap Year Volunteer), Our lady of Kirkstal Live Simply group and parish members up to the age of 15 and their families.
Where: Holy Name Church Hall, 52 Otley Old Rd, Leeds LS16 6HW
When: Saturday 18th May, 2pm – 4pm
Why: To challenge and change the systems and structures that cause climate change, and poverty

If you are not able to attend, you can join St Urban’s parishioners on Sunday 19th May for their Creation Celebration, with guest speaker Bernard Balibuno CAFOD’s Country Representative for the Democratic Republic of Congo who will share updates on how our support to communities facing the impact of climate change makes a real difference. For more information about St Urban’s Creation Celebration please click here.

If you would like to know more about how you and your school or parish can get involved with CAFOD’s Our Common Home campaign click here.

 

Fri 5th April: Lenten Lookback and lunch

We would like to invite all our volunteers and supporters to a ‘Lenten Lookback’.

Lenten Lookback.jpg

Lenten Appeal posters and pamphlets from past decades will be on display Fri 5th April 2019 11:30am onwards

Join us on Friday 5th April from 11:30am onwards as we meander our way through past decades of CAFOD Lenten appeals, photos and pamphlets and take the opportunity to share experiences and memories of a long history of prayer, campaigning and fundraising to support the world’s poorest communities.

Feel free to drop in anytime you can the display will be open from 11:30am – 2pm and if you have any pamphlets or photos from the past to share, please bring them along.

Everyone is welcome, please bring along a small plate of some simple food to share at the Lenten Lunch afterwards

Date: Friday 5th April 2019
Time: 11:30am – 2pm
Venue: CAFOD, Hinsley Hall, 62 Headingley Lane, Leeds, LS6 2BX

For more information, or to let us know you will be coming along please email leeds@cafod.org.uk or call (0113) 275 9302