Celebrating our volunteers!

Without volunteers, our work at CAFOD would be made much more difficult.

Whether you play your part as a communications volunteer who amplifies the voice of those in need, an education volunteer helping to inspire future generations, or an office volunteer helping to ensure the smooth-running of the office, your input is valuable. People who help out at Fast Days, respond to emergencies, make change by campaigning or spending your Sunday’s speaking at mass, your passion for social justice is clear and your help appreciated.

Here, CAFOD’s Director of Operations, Geoff, has a message of thanks for you:

Throughout this week, we will be celebrating many of the volunteers here at CAFOD and saying thank you for all the work that you do within schools and your own parishes!

Interested in volunteering with CAFOD? Find out more

Telford community raise thousands to transform lives overseas

A church community from Telford have raised over £2,500 by hosting their own Family Fast Day – a simple lunch of soup and sandwiches – every week in Lent in aid of CAFOD.

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Parishioners from the Good Shepherd parish, Telford, raised £2,620 towards our annual Lent Appeal when they got involved in a number of activities, including holding a Fast Day collection during Mass, hosting a community lunch each Friday and taking boxes home to collect loose change.

In an added boost, all donations to CAFOD’s Lent Appeal, up to £5 million, will be doubled by the UK government up until 12 May – meaning every donation will make double the difference.

Fr. Michael Hartley, parish priest at Good Shepherd, said: “We live in an age of instant communication and we are often bombarded with the latest disaster or atrocity. It becomes too easy to retreat into our own worlds.

“CAFOD keeps before us the needs of our brothers and sisters who have to compete for their voices to be heard in a busy and noisy world.

“Our parish community have responded particularly in Lent each year, and each Sunday in Lent we reflected on refugees and migrants, with special prayers and liturgy and everyone which meant everyone in the parish became involved in the reflective time.”

CAFOD’s local representative in Telford, Katie Hallows, added: “We would like to thank the parish of the Good Shepherd for their ongoing support of CAFOD. The Lent appeal is such a great way of bringing people together and raising an incredible amount to help others.

“I’m delighted that the UK government is matching donations made by parishes like the Good Shepherd to CAFOD’s work, showing how important the money raised will be for some of the world’s poorest people.”

The funds matched by the UK government for CAFOD’s Lent appeal will reach an estimated 245,000 people in Zimbabwe, Zambia, and Eritrea and enable communities to grow a better future by providing safe water, supporting communities to plant vegetable gardens and teaching them about good nutrition and hygiene.

It will also provide training for families on farming techniques to grow drought-resistant crops, and for nurses and village health workers to spot and prevent malnutrition.

The donations will mean that thousands more across the world will live lives free from hunger.

Donate to CAFOD’s Lent Appeal until 12 May to make double the difference  


“A bridge from a place of suffering to a better world” – Welcoming Livison

Last week, it was an honour to welcome Livison, CAFOD’s project officer from Zimbabwe, to the Shrewsbury Diocese as part of his speaking tour around the North West and North East of England this Lent.EP2

Livison spoke a group of CAFOD volunteers and supporters in Ellesmere Port, who came out to welcome him and learn about CAFOD’s projects in Zimbabwe, one of the focus countries of this year’s Lent appeal.

Speaking about how CAFOD funded projects are helping to combat hunger and malnutrition in the country, Livison told the story of Marian and her family, including her seven year old son, Svondo.

Svondo’s brother, Tawanda, never had enough food growing up so he cried a lot and didn’t play.  But thanks to CAFOD supporters from England and Wales, his brother Svondo has enough food to eat to keep him healthy. This means he plays a lot and loves peanut butter!

Livison shared with volunteers a direct message from Marian:

“I’m very grateful to CAFOD supporters for what they’ve done. You have been a bridge from a place of suffering to a better world. If I were to meet you, it would be such a blessing. I’d like to ask you, what drives you to give to others? Is it your kindness?”

Livison said: “The people of Ellesmere Port have been very welcoming.

“Sometimes, we wonder where to get the strength and motivation but the prayers and donations from CAFOD supporters help us to keep motivated, encouraging us to make positive changes in our lives.”

CAFOD’s local representative in Ellesmere Port, Katie Hallows, added: “We are really grateful to have had the chance to celebrate the work our volunteers have been doing in the local area.  To be able to have had such an insightful input from Livison, who gave the group an understanding of some of the struggles that people in Zimbabwe are facing, was appreciated.

“It’s the long-time commitment of volunteers like those from Ellesmere Port that ensures that CAFOD can support the world’s poorest people to live with dignity.”

It was an honour to welcome Livison to Ellesmere Port and hearing his stories was truly inspiring.

Learn more about this Family Fast Day

Are you holding any events this Lent in your parish or school? Giving something up? Let us know – we’d love to celebrate your story!

Email shrewsbury@cafod.org.uk or call 01244 677594