Meet a Schools volunteer: Helen Savelli

Helen has kept our presence in the primary schools around Norwich almost single-handedly, while working part time and looking after her family. She is one of those rare people who are close enough to God that the light of Christ shines through. Yet with humour and humility she apologises that she can’t do more for CAFOD.


Helen with her family

She led summer camp workshops for a wide age-range of young people at the cathedral, introducing them to Laudato Si’, and has taken year-6 students on the refugee pilgrimage – responding at short notice when the Lampedusa Cross arrived – an activity she describes as: “very powerful – the whole afternoon served as a great reminder to me why I do all this!”.

Helen eloquently described why she volunteers for CAFOD – something she’s now been doing for eight years!

“For me CAFOD brings back so many memories, its very nostalgic; Lent Fast Days and the Harvest period was always a huge part of growing up, and for my family. I have always been passionate about global justice and wanted to do a small part to assist the alleviation and suffering of poverty.“I had been working as a teacher before I stopped teaching to start a family. When I signed up with CAFOD I thought I could maybe be an office volunteer  but they said that with my past teaching experience I could consider being a schools volunteer. Although I was nervous at first as I had been out of teaching for a few years, I absolutely love it now and I really feel that if education can help shape a generations view and people’s attitudes to poverty then it is 100% worth it.

Helen Savelli

Helen leads an assembly


“To be able to carry on giving something back to CAFOD, who do such fantastic work both overseas and with their education resources for young people here.”

“Although the fundraising element is important, so is the education side of things. We are not preaching, just teaching young people about the issues that go on around the world, so they are better equipped to do something about it.”

“The one experience that really stuck me was [when I was ] going to give an assembly at Brundall Primary School, in Norwich.  The school was not a Catholic school so I tailored my presentation a little differently, but at the end children came up to me and told me how inspired they were.”

“It’s just about and caring for others. I felt that moment really encompassed what CAFOD is about – community.”

We are so grateful to have you as a volunteer, Helen. Thank you for all your fantastic work!


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