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

 

Fulwood church hosts fundraising lunch for Lent appeal

Parishioners from Our Lady and St Edwards took part in a special lunch in aid of CAFOD's Lent appeal

Parishioners from Our Lady and St Edwards took part in a special lunch in aid of CAFOD’s Lent appeal

Parishioners from Our Lady’s and St Edwards Church in Preston have raised more than £500 to help some of the poorest communities around the world as part of a Lent campaign. The Fulwood parish hosted a special fundraising lunch in aid of CAFOD.

Volunteers came together to present a variety of homemade soups, ranging from traditional: tomato, French onion and mushroom, to the more exotic quinoa with garden vegetables.

Patrick Gardner, who is CAFOD’s representative in Preston and attended the soup lunch said: “We are ever so grateful to Our Lady & St Edward’s Parish CAFOD group who do a fantastic job organising the Fast Day Soup Lunches. They are always popular and well attended. I’ve always popped in to say hello to folk and support it, but more recently myself and my colleague, John Woods, who is a parishioner at the church, have been asked to help the CAFOD group on the day.

“So, I was waiting on at tables and John was helping out in the kitchen with soup orders and through everyone’s generous donations we managed to raise over £500 and have a great time too.

Derek and Bill prepare the tasty soups

Derek and Bill prepare the tasty soups

“I would like to say a big thank you to all the parishioners and volunteers who came together to cook soup, lay the tables and serve lunch.”

This Lent, CAFOD is working with communities in the South African country of Zambia. It is estimated that over half of Zambians live below the poverty line.

This means that many families do not have enough money to meet basic needs such as food, housing and clothing.

CAFOD’s partners in Zambia provide training in fish farming, beekeeping and crop farming as well as helping individuals within communities develop business skills so those most in need understand how to get a better price for their goods, market them and even set up business partnerships.

Our Lady & St Edward's parishioners at CAFOD Lent Soup LunchThe money raised by Our Lady and St Edwards will mean that CAFOD’s partners will be able to continue to support projects around the world.