Kathleen Szczegolski, 66, from London, has supported Catholic charity, CAFOD for many years and decided after retiring to begin volunteering in CAFOD’s Southwark Office. Here Kathy talks about her motivations and her late son, Robbie Sharp.
In a quiet moment at CAFOD today, I thought I would start my long-awaited contribution to the CAFOD volunteer blog:
“I remember seeing the advert in my parish newsletter, the bright green logo stood out and I thought I could use my former secretarial skills to assist CAFOD, having worked in administration most of my life. I lost my only son, Robbie Sharp, in 2009, who lived with cerebral palsy from birth. Robbie needed lots of love, care and attention, which he was never short of. I was so grateful to all the volunteers who had helped Robbie, a few years later I wanted to put something back into the community.
Find out about CAFOD’s candlelight fund
“Robbie was a remarkable, loving and very special young man, whose smile, humour and love of life were rays of sunshine in the world for everyone lucky enough to know him.
“Robbie was a remarkable, loving and very special young man whose smile, sense of humour and love of life were rays of sunshine in the world for everyone lucky enough to know him. He is with the angels now and will never be forgotten. RIP Robbie.
“A couple of years after Robbie died, a CAFOD speaker came to St William of York to talk about the Candlelight Fund. I felt this was an amazing idea and I opened a fund in Robbie’s name. Robbie was a wonderful young man and it is a great comfort to me to see that his memory is living on and he would be very happy to know that he is helping people around the world. There are also annual Candlelight Masses around the country and I have attended one locally which was very memorable. Robbie’s candlelight fund has raised over £4,000 now.
“My faith and prayer life are strong, and I have always enjoyed going on retreats, mainly to the Benedictine Monastery at Worth, I felt that as well as my own spiritual well being, I wanted to act out my faith through volunteering.
“It began a great friendship with myself and CAFOD. I volunteer one day a week and have met some wonderful people and enjoy my days volunteering every day is different. The staff have always been very friendly and not at all intimidating and I have always been thanked profusely for my work; I feel it is my pleasure. We have enjoyed other fundraising and campaigning events.”