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

 

Fairtrade Fortnight at St Mary’s

CAFOD Lancaster Step into the Gap volunteer, Hannah Henley, shares her ‘Fairtrade Fortnight Write Up’ from St Mary’s Catholic Academy in Blackpool:

Hannah, CAFOD Step into the Gap volunteer

Hannah, CAFOD Step into the Gap volunteer

CAFOD founded the Fairtrade Foundation in 1992 along with Christian Aid, Oxfam, Traidcraft, the World Development Movement and the National Federation of Women’s Institutes. Every February. parishes and schools across the country get involved in Fairtrade Fortnight to raise awareness of the foundation and speak out for justice in solidarity with the world’s poorest communities.

Fairtrade Fortnight took place from 27 February – 10 March and St. Mary’s have been presenting the staff and students with various treats, all while taking them on a mini break around the world. Students had the chance to get their Fairtrade passport stamped for each different place they have been taken to.

To open the two weeks, the Chaplaincy Team held a Tiki Juice Bar, with Fairtrade ingredients from Latin America. The students were offered a drink for 50p with a choice of Traditional Handmade Lemonade, St. Mary’s Ice Tea, Strawberry Fizz and Appleade. The Juice Bar was a hit and set up the theme nicely to create excitement over what was to come next.

skewers of marshmellows, strawberries and banana

skewers of marshmellows, strawberries and banana

We then had hot drinks on offer; Fairtrade tea, hot chocolate and fudge hot chocolate. A drink on it’s own was 60p or you could have a hot drink and two fair break biscuits for £1. We offered this trip to West Africa – where Fairtrade chocolate is found at break in the Deli Bar. This offer ran for two days as well as selling all of our regular Fairtrade products.

Continuing in West Africa, we held a chocolate fountain with Fairtrade chocolate and the students had the opportunity to dip in skewers of marshmellows, strawberries and banana for £1 per skewer. This was a clear success with the students and the Chaplaincy team even got a little taste at the end!

chocolate fountain with Fairtrade chocolate

chocolate fountain with Fairtrade chocolate

To end Fairtrade Fortnight, we gave the staff a treat of Fairtrade tea and coffee with a Fairtrade chocolatey product, or fruit for those good people who have given up chocolate for Lent. Debs and Margaret, the angels who usually prep for staff brews at break time, were given their own break as we took over to highlight to the staff what Fairtrade products are available in shops and a taste of a good brew and a proper coffee.

Personally, I have loved Fairtrade Fortnight and the efforts of the whole team, particularly Sarah, have paid off as we managed to draw attention to the Fairtrade Foundation and generate some attention and the chance to offer students something different. Remember we sell Fairtrade products at break everyday! What’s your favourite?

Together with the Fairtrade Foundation, Traidcraft, Christian Aid and Oxfam, we are encouraging people to email their MPs to ask International Trade Secretary Liam Fox to make sure that the UK uses its trade policy to benefit the world’s poorest people. Send an email today.