Ready, steady, bake: Schoolchildren’s Christmas fundraiser

Pupils from a primary school in Warrington have raised an impressive amount of money for the development charity CAFOD and St Rocco’s Hospice by hosting their very own version of The Great British Bake Off within school.


The winners of the Bake Off!

Pupils from reception through to year six at Our Lady’s Catholic primary school baked an array of different Christmas themed cakes, cupcakes and biscuits to impress the judges: a panel of pupils from the school’s ‘Mini Vinnies’ group and two of the school’s governors.

The ‘Mini Vinnies’ group was formed with the intention of ‘turning concern into action’ and meet weekly after school to plan activities that make a difference to the world around them, such as singing in old people’s homes and raising money for charities.


Just some of the cakes on offer!

The grand total, £136, was raised by the children when their homemade cakes were sold at the Christmas fair later that day.

Mrs O’Hara, who heads up the group, said: “The highlight of the day was the number of entries we had and the enthusiasm, hard work and variety of creative cakes that came from the children.

“Fundraising for good causes is at the heart of our school and it’s great for the children to be able to know they’re making a difference while having fun!”

Every child who took part was awarded a certificate.

One pupil from a year five class, who is involved with the Mini Vinnies group, added: “My favourite part of the day was eating the cakes and sending the money off to the charities we’d helped! I like helping other people to have a fairer life.”

The winners and runners up of the competition received an apron with ‘star baker’ embroidered on the front.

One of CAFOD’s local representative in Shrewsbury, Bridget Fenwick, said: “The cakes looked absolutely delicious and what an inventive way to raise money for charity.”

Fellow representative, Katie Hallows, added: “Their actions will help to transform the lives of other children who live in the poorest communities across the world. Well done!”

Find out more about CAFOD’s work in schools


CAFOD worker inspires at Aquinas College

On a recent visit to a local Stockport college, the Emergency Programme Manager for CAFOD’s Syria response shared his insights into the world of humanitarian working with the next generation.

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Alan Thomlinson first travelled to Syria in 2010 as a tourist, and recently returned from a trip almost seven years later in his role as Emergency Programme Manager for CAFOD.

Students were interested to hear about working in international development and to learn about the enormous impact of the Syrian crisis.

Alan inspired the students by sharing his experiences as an aid worker and the impact this has had on his life both personally and professionally.

He said: “I enjoyed sharing my experiences with the group at Aquinas College.  The group were interested and it was brilliant to be able to enlighten them on the realities of working in the humanitarian sector, but equally to share with them the sense of reward that this comes with working in the field.”

Sadiqah Sultana, a lower sixth Global Justice and Peace student at Aquinas, said:  “I attended the talk and Alan informed us about the ongoing complex issues in Syria and how CAFOD provides short term aid for those suffering in the war torn country.

“He gave us his insight on his shaky journey to becoming a humanitarian worker and the difficulties in getting a career in international development. Overall, I enjoyed the talk as it educated me on topics I didn’t understand before and taught me where generous donations to CAFOD go to.”

The talk highlighted the complexity of the crisis in Syria, and Alan explained how aid agencies like CAFOD are responding to the challenges that arise.

CAFOD’s local representative in Stockport, Bridget Fenwick, said: “Thanks firstly to Alan, who offered such a great insight into his work, and secondly to the students at Aquinas who showed such a deep understanding of the topic and an eagerness to learn about CAFOD’s work.”

Find out more about CAFOD’s work in Syria 

Young people confirm World Gifts

Confirmation group_Wallasey

The young men in the Confirmation group

The Confirmation candidates, parents and catechists from St Joseph & St Alban parish, Wallasey, had a sponsored walk on Saturday 16th April as part of their Service to the Community. 

The walk started at St Alban’s church, Liscard and progressed through Central Park to St Joseph’s church, then along the promenade to Mariner’s Park and back to St Alban’s.  On returning we attended 12 o’clock Mass following which we all enjoyed pizzas for lunch. 

We raised £217 and the candidates chose to buy a School starter pack, The goat that gives, Healthy Mum & Baby Pack, Winter Survival Kit and 2 Pairs of pigeons.

World gifts – take a look at what the boys bought. Why not buy a gift yourself and make a real difference to communities living in developing countries?

Thanks to everyone, especially the four young men for serving the wider world community.