Celebrating our Volunteers

CAFOD volunteer, Paul Wyre, shares with us about his volunteering with CAFOD in Lancaster Diocese as both Area Coordinator (Lancaster Deanery) and  Office Volunteer.

Paul with his wife, Lynne, and Fr Peter Sayer at St Bernadette's Catholic Church in Lancaster

Paul with his wife, Lynne, and Fr Peter Sayer at St Bernadette’s Catholic Church in Lancaster

I was attracted to volunteer with CAFOD because I would be able to make a difference. I’ve been involved with local and national campaigns which have highlighted global issues which affect local communities.

My favourite volunteering moment over the last year is when I helped organise the CAFOD Lancaster Memorial Mass in my own parish of St Bernadette’s. A lady travelled to the Mass from a fair distance away to join us in praying and remembering a recently deceased family member, a CAFOD supporter. Just seeing and hearing how special it was to her that time had been taken to remember and thank deceased CAFOD supporters, was so special.

Paul at the CAFOD Lancaster Volunteer Centre

Paul at the CAFOD Lancaster Volunteer Centre in Preston

I would recommend volunteering not just as a means to help the less fortunate but also as a means of meeting like-minded people who we would never have got to meet and know otherwise. I have made friends at a stage in life I did not think I would.

My time volunteering with CAFOD is an experience which will always be a very close part of my life.

 

Looking for new volunteer opportunities? See how you can volunteer with us

 

 

 

 

Celebrating our Volunteers

CAFOD campaigner and parish volunteer, Stephen Garsed, shares his volunteering story with us……

Stephen at a parish Live Simply evening

Stephen at a parish Live Simply evening

On arriving in Preston 25 years ago, I joined a parish with an active CAFOD group. I am also part of a CAFOD group at my church, Our Lady & St Edward’s in Preston, promoting the Live Simply Campaign in response to Laudato Si’.

Over the years I have learned that development is much more than ‘giving aid,’ it is about working in partnership with poor communities to meet their needs.

 

 

Stephen at the Climate Lobby with his MP

Stephen, and his wife Anne, at the Climate Lobby with his MP at the House of Parliament

This goes right to the heart of what it is to be a Christian, irrespective of  denomination. With my wife, Anne, a Methodist, and other members of the family, I have campaigned on issues such as: trade justice, the Jubilee Debt Campaign, climate change, and tax justice. The joint work of CAFOD and Christian Aid on these issues is something we support both together and individually.

We have lost count of the amount of campaign cards and letters we have written to our MP. The most memorable events have always been the big national rallies, particularly meeting our MP during the “For the Love of” campaign.

Stephen has recently taken on the role of  Campaign Volunteer Coordinator for CAFOD in Lancaster diocese.  A vital role in ensuring our campaigning impact and engagement is as high as possible at a local level. So you’ll be hearing more from Stephen in the coming months……..

Speak up on climate and energy this summer

 

Warton parishioners hold special Lent service to fundraise for East African communities

Holy Family CAFOD team

Holy Family CAFOD team

Warton parishioners have held a prayer service which has helped to raise over £200 to help millions of people facing starvation in East Africa.

On 7 April, the Holy Family CAFOD team, Warton, organised a Lenten prayer service to help raise funds for the aid agency’s East Africa Appeal. A large group gathered for the prayer service where attendees reflected on the crisis, whilst listening to parish members from the CAFOD team talk about each of the individual countries that the crisis has affected.

After the prayer service, everyone was invited to write a message for people in East Africa on a leaf – which was then hung on a tree, as an act of solidarity.

CAFOD volunteer Hayley Benyon, who helped organise the event, said:

“From six-years-old to 80 years young – our CAFOD team all felt compelled to take time out to pray together, for the families suffering due to climate change and conflict. CAFOD is our “faith in action”, helping people in desperate need – we also prayed for Yemen which is close to our hearts.

“We are encouraged by the fact that CAFOD and its partners are distributing aid and offering solidarity grants to families in need. One of our parishioner’s mothers wrote a poem about CAFOD 20 years ago, which her daughter read to end our service and it is still relevant in 2017.”

In East Africa, there are currently over 16 million people in need of urgent food and other life-saving assistance. Despite the challenges, CAFOD makes sure that aid reaches the families who are most in need, through the network of trusted local organisations which CAFOD works with in South Sudan, Somalia, Ethiopia and Kenya.

CAFOD Director Chris Bain said:

“We would like to say a huge thanks to the communities in England and Wales who have given generously, coming together to help communities affected by drought and conflict.”

“The generosity of the British population as a whole has also been heart-warming. CAFOD is a member of the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC), whose East Africa Crisis Appeal has raised over £42 million.”

Donate to CAFOD’s East Africa Appeal Crisis