Peter is our first area coordinator. He comes each month to the new Volunteer Centre, 70 miles away, to spend time with the Community Participation Coordinator. His monthly visits keep him in touch with what CAFOD is doing. It also means that he can share this with parish volunteers in Kings Lynn deanery.
He has often spoken for CAFOD’s Lent appeals at the end of Mass in St Peter and All Souls, Peterborough. Now he is looking to do this in his deanery in parishes without a local volunteer. He has spoken to the local priest, asking if he might thank parishioners, in person, for their donations to CAFOD. He’ll also be encouraging new volunteers.
Peter reaches out to the three churches in his own parish, as well as his own. He has toured all four churches, speaking about the work that CAFOD is doing in Sebeya through its Connect2:Ethiopia partnership. With Jane, his wife, he hosts an evening meal each year for parishoners to eat, learn more about the scheme, and donate. Peter also enjoys the big campaign moments when CAFOD supporters gather together.
He calls parish volunteers in the deanery to find our how the latest appeal went. He has spoken with campaign volunteers, checking they have all they need to encourage others to sign up to the latest campaign action. Peter is keen to speak to people and hear about what they are doing.
We now have area coordinators in most of the diocese. We are looking for area coordinators for Cambridge and Bury St Edmunds.
> Find out how you could join our team
Regular as clockwork, Andy arrives at the office on his way to work. He gives us an hour and a half each week, updating our Facebook page.
Before Andy arrived, it would be weeks before a new updates, but in the last six months its popularity has risen by 56%. He selects one or two national stories to share, adding a bit of introductory text.
Andy checks the weekly donations to see if there is any parishes or schools that we can be thanking on Facebook. When we have a picture, for example of a parish volunteer, he will add that, cropping it to make it better to see. When we don’t have a picture of the activity or those involved, he will choose a relevant image. Andy uses CAFOD’s photos from our work and adds some thing about how a donation is making a difference.
He has joined in and promoted the Facebook competition for Delia Smith’s cookbooks. He is always eager to do more, giving more time when he can and offering to help with any local events. He keeps encouraging other people, singing their praises on Facebook for us.
The Young Ambassadors Club began last year as a way for students to understand a bit more of what they were hearing in assemblies, using CAFOD’s chaplaincy and youth activities. Soon there was a core group of four students who were taking a leading role.
The schools’ charitable activities were already allocated, so for Harvest the ambassadors ‘sold’ bags of sweets and prayer cards for donations. Later they raised another £200 for world gifts. It was a moment that really brought home the meaning of CAFOD’s work for them, recognising these gifts could really transform another child’s opportunities in life.
Layla, Rob, Emily and Orla have really taken on CAFOD’s One Climate One World campaign, surveying students at lunchtime about how they would spend their last bit of energy, highlighting the difference between life in Cambridge and in Kenya, and creating a large display from the results. They have written to the school business manager to ask her to check that the schools’ energy comes from renewable sources, and to their local MP asking him to support CAFOD’s campaign. They have led CAFOD’s Harvest Assembly for years 7 and 8 students, and during another assembly they encouraged 200 students to sign campaign postcards to their MP. He was persuaded; pledging his support and sending a letter in reply to each student.
> Could you be a schools volunteer with CAFOD?