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


Wirral volunteers celebrate breaking £180,000 fundraising total for CAFOD in fifteen years of coastal walk

On 15 September, walkers from the annual Wirral coastal walk came together to celebrate their incredible achievement of raising over £180,000 for CAFOD.

Wirral Walk_total over the years copy

This year saw the fifteenth year of CAFOD volunteer Finbarr Stewart organising a team for the annual Wirral coastal walk.  The walk, which spanned over 15 miles in its entirety, has now raised £182,000 in total for CAFOD, with the group raising a massive £13,000 this year alone.

One of the team-members was Mimi, who was the youngest person to take on the walk this year.

Aged just nine, Mimi walked with her uncle, Richard, inspired to take action after a visit to a refugee camp in Lesbos with her mum.

She said: “My mum helped me to keep walking by promising me an ice cream at the end!   We sang silly songs along the way.


Mimi and her Uncle.

“I wanted to do the walk as I have been to a refugee camp in Lesbos with my mum and joined in with the children in the children’s tent there.”

Mimi was joined by 40 other keen fundraisers from across the Wirral and surrounding areas, who came together to walk the distance from Seacombe ferry to the Wirral Country Park visitor centre on 18 June.

There were three finish lines to make the walk inclusive: one at four miles, one at ten miles and another at 15 miles.

Finbarr Stewart, who organises the CAFOD team, said: “This year the money is being divided and donated to CAFOD’s Syria and Yemen appeals. I’m really pleased with how much has been raised.

“People of all ages take part in the challenge, and some have joined me every year since we started raising money for CAFOD, but it’s great to have been able to welcome new walkers too.”

Organised by the Rotary Club of North Wirral, the walk raises money for many different charities and takes its participants past landmarks such as Britain’s longest promenade, Kings Parade, and Fort Perch Rock, a fort built in the Second World War.

Bridget Fenwick, CAFOD’s local representative, added: “Finbarr’s achievement of co-ordinating the walkers over the past fifteen years, and raising so much this year, is a brilliant one.  We’re so happy that the team once again walked for CAFOD – it’s their support that makes such a difference.

“The CAFOD walkers have raised a staggering amount over the last fifteen years and we are very grateful to everyone who has taken part.”

Thank you to everyone who walked for CAFOD!

Find out more about CAFOD’s Yemen and Syria appeals.

Chicken triumph again!

Sue Bownas from the CAFOD Chester Support group writes below of a tradition at Easter for the Chester communities.

For several years now the Chester CAFOD Support Group has raised hundreds of pounds each Easter thanks to Judy one of our founder members who  has been responsible for the annual preparation and sale of Easter Chickens. During lent a team of knitters led by Judy have created the rare breeds, whilst parishioners have been invited to provide the chocolate eggs that will fill them. Then ten days before Easter, the chickens go on sale, and it is over to the wonderful staff and pupils/ students at St Clare’s Primary School and Chester Catholic High school, and our fantastic parishioners to play their part by buying these amazing chicks.  

However, 2017 it seemed would be different; with Judy not able to lead us, it looked as though  Easter would be “chicken free” this year. 

That was to underestimate the strength of the team built up over the years!  A new leader emerged and soon a  team of knitters were at work and the annual request for chocolate eggs appeared in the parish newsletter,  and this lovely “tradition” was secured for another year.  Despite us having less time, ( with a later than usual start and the need for earlier sales in the schools as they broke up for Easter on 31 March) chickens of every hew and breeds, never before seen,  started to hatch and supplies sent to the schools for sale, and then with one week to go , we were completely sold out of chickens. 

 Our huge thanks go to all concerned: our generous and loyal knitters, fillers and buyers all made sure this annual sale happened again and, as a result, they have raised £ 542 for CAFOD’s Emergency Appeal for countries affected by famine in East Africa.

Find out more about our East Africa crisis appeal

 Although the needles are once again still, there is talk of us  making an earlier start next year …….”