5 Minutes With…Celeste Iyinbo

An interview with our very own Celeste Iyinbo, Community Participation Coordinator and Volunteer Coordinator in the Southwark Diocese, find out what being a Community Participation Coordinator is all about, what happens in the volunteer recognition scheme, and how you can get involved with CAFOD online!

Celeste, Speaking at Mass in St George's Cathedral, Southwark, for Family Fast Day.
Celeste, Speaking at Mass in St George’s Cathedral, Southwark, for Family Fast Day.

What’s your name?

Celeste Iyinbo

What is your role?

Community Participation Coordinator (CPC) in the Southwark Diocese & Volunteer Coordinator Specialist in the Volunteer Support Team

How long have you been in this position?

I’ve been a CPC for 11 months and as a Volunteer coordinator Specialist for just over a month.

What does a ­­Community Participation Officer do?

As a CPC my role is interesting, for example I speak to volunteers in the Diocese of Southwark who support CAFOD through fundraising for us, supporting CAFOD in their parish at Lent and Harvest, and sign-up people who want to make the use of their talents or gain new skills volunteering at our volunteer centres. As a CPC we organise briefings for volunteers before Lent and Harvest to let everybody know about the current appeal and inspire parish volunteers who will speak on behalf of CAFOD at their parish.

In my newer role I am doing a variety of things to support the management of our volunteers. This includes improving induction training, organising webinars, and coordinating the volunteer recognition scheme where CAFOD shows our appreciation to volunteers for their time and work with us. It’s exciting in particular for people that have given 25 years of volunteer service to CAFOD because they receive a Papal Award direct from the Vatican.

What do you enjoy about your role?

I enjoy different things in each role. I like speaking with volunteers from across the diocese, finding out about what their parishes are like- they are all so different, and discussing our campaigns, World Gifts or fundraising appeals, is really enjoyable.

What are the most rewarding aspects of your role?

Interacting with volunteers and building up relationships, telling people about CAFOD’s work and being able to share positive stories from our volunteers about how they fundraise or raise awareness about CAFOD appeals.

What projects have you been working on lately?

Christmas is a lovely time of year to say thanks to volunteers. I’ve been working on organising the volunteer Christmas Card for 2020 and making the preparations for recipients of the 25-year volunteer milestone award. We have started planning in the Southwark Community Participated Coordinator team for our upcoming Lent volunteer briefings in February 2021.

How can we get involved?

If you use social media it would be great if you can like and share your local Diocesan Community Participation Team’s Facebook,Twitter accounts and posts. Volunteers are doing some amazing things and it would be wonderful to share this, as well as CAFOD’s work with as many people as possible.  In the words of Buzz lightyear “to infinity and beyond”!

To find out more about how you can volunteer with CAFOD click here.

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