Year 7s Thirst for Change in Preston

Year 12 and 13 students from Cardinal Newman College’s CAFOD Group in Preston put their leadership skills into practice when they presented workshops for Year 7 pupils at Our Lady’s Catholic High School in Preston as part of their Green Day.

A number of CAFOD workshops took place including looking at our carbon footprint, considering a whole load of rubbish (literally!) and experiencing some of the challenges of water poverty.

Dirty water is a reality faced by many overseas. The students leading the workshop made up a delicious cocktail of water, dirt, animal bones and a little cow urine thrown in for good measure and invited the pupils to drink it – which they politely but firmly declined!

CAFOD’s Thirst for Change campaign highlights the shocking reality of water poverty where 1 in 8 people still don’t have access to clean drinking water.

Making water filters

They guided the Year 7s in making a water filter, which they assembled stage by stage as they got the answers right to a water quiz – learning some interesting facts along the way.

They learnt how many women and girls carry heavy loads of water on their heads for long distances every day.  They even tried the weight of a bottle of 20 litres of water and struggled to move it across the classroom.


Hannah, one of the students from Newman College said: Leading parts of the workshop felt great, I really enjoyed the day. It suprised me how much background knowledge a lot of the children already had!

Messages to David Cameron flowed thick and fast at the end of the workshop when they wrote on water droplets to him before he goes to the G8 in Rio in May.  They called on him to influence world leaders there to make a difference to the global situation around water poverty.

I was pleased when the children wrote really good letters to David Cameron it showed the workshop had a very positive effect, said Jen, one of the workshop leaders.

Jen leading the water quiz

The students in the Cardinal Newman CAFOD group had considered the Millennium Development Goals, including the one around water, when they worked with staff from Global Link in Lancaster.  They’d considered young leadership too with staff from CAFOD.  Leading these workshops was a great chance to put all they’d learnt into practice.

I learnt that I’m good at public speaking and that I enjoy working with kids that age more than I thought I would have! said Roisin, another workshop leader.

Roisin makes up a deadly cocktail of dirty water

Encouraging others to take up this sort of young leadership, Roisin continued:  It’s a really rewarding experience that helps to spread knowledge of a very important issue to the next generation and so really is very valuable!

They did a great job in communicating this global issue and the year 7s at Our Lady’s responded brilliantly – well done to all!  Keep spreading the word…..

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