Don’t just ‘Step into the Gap’, Leap!

Nicole Gillespie is a Gap year volunteer with CAFOD in Southwark, based at St. Vincent centre, Whitstable and is encouraging other young people to do the same.

A different kind of ‘Gap year’

Nicole and some other Gap year volunteers whilst on their overseas visit to Uganda.

Nicole (in the front) and some other Gap year volunteers whilst on their overseas visit to Uganda.

When I was younger I always knew I wanted to do a gap year but I never thought that it would lead me here.

Volunteering with CAFOD over the past year has really opened my eyes to what a Gap year can be and how much difference it can make in the world.

As a child, I heard of CAFOD through my school but I never imagined that I would dedicate a year of my life to volunteering with them. But the experience I have had whilst on this leadership programme has changed my life. I got to walk alongside young people within my own diocese whilst getting to better understand my faith. Not only that I got to travel as well and it was so amazing to see the work of CAFOD in action and to meet their partners on the ground in Uganda.

Read about Nicole’s trip to Uganda as part of her ‘Gap year’

‘Gap Year’ : But what does it involve?

Nicole at her home parish speaking about CAFODs Family Fast day.

Nicole at her home parish speaking about CAFODs Family Fast day.

Step into the Gap has been one of the best years of my life, I have taken a year our of education starting in September 2018 and I will finish in July 2019. Throughout the year I have been based at my placement and there are many placements up and down the country in retreat centres or University and school chaplaincy’s.

Most of my year is spent living and working in community with four weekends spent away with CAFOD and the other Step into the Gap volunteers or ‘Gappers’ in London. These are spread throughout the year and of course there’s the overseas visit as well.

The most exciting part of the year for me was the chance to meet so many young people and accompany them in their faith journey whilst raising awareness and funds for CAFOD as well.

Not only did I get the opportunity to speak to many young people I got the amazing chance to visit my home parish and talk about CAFODs Advent family fast day, it was so lovely to go home and to talk about my experience and CAFODs work in front of so many familiar faces.

More information about Step into the Gap here

Apply for Step into the Gap today, what’s stopping you?

Applying for Step into the Gap is easy:

  • Read about the programme and the different placements.
  • Fill out the application form
  • Email it to Julia Corcoran at who will then contact you in a couple of weeks informing you to whether you have been shortlisted for an interview or not!


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