It all started with, “Why not?”

Meg, a CAFOD Media Volunteer, shares the story of the newest CAFOD coordinator, Andy Wansbury. Here she tells us how Andy began his journey as a volunteer.

“I used to be a forensic photographer,” Andy recalls. He had been in the Forensic

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A group photo from Lent Fast Day 2016–when it all started for Andy

Science Service for 12 years until 2011. Since then he had been at home, caring for his daughter. And then CAFOD reached out to him. “Eileen Hayes from CAFOD came to speak at the Lent Fast Day 2016 in my parish and asked for volunteers. I thought it was a call for me as I had always been interested in CAFOD work,” he says. He had always wanted to be a parish speaker, so when they finally asked him to be a part of the family, he just thought, “Why not?”


Why volunteer?

Andy began his CAFOD journey by giving talks in school. “Last September, there was a private school in Lewisham who needed a volunteer. I underwent training in the summer,” Andy explains. The training would occur twice a year, for a full day. “And soon I was giving talks for about 20 minutes in schools and parishes, about what CAFOD does and what we are all about.” There are also various volunteering opportunities for other aspiring volunteers who would like to do something else.

Andy had recently become the new volunteer campaign Co-ordinator for the deaneries of Bexley, Greenwich, Gravesend, Bromley and Lewisham. I thought, “My, what huge responsibility this is!” it all seemed so overwhelming. But he patiently explained that his role is mostly to act as a support person. Whenever there is a campaign, he is there to extend a hand if needed, but not necessarily having to be directly involved. “I am still getting the grips of it, ” he admits.  His latest assignment is trying to help with the committee appeal for East Africa. He is also hoping to recruit motivated volunteers to promote CAFOD campaigns in parishes.

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Andy sporting his signature look

Because of his new role, Andy is every where CAFOD takes him. He would show up in his Harley-Davidson, wearing black leather boots, navy trousers, and of course, a CAFOD shirt. He believes in making a first impression, and quite an impression at that. “It makes people remember you. And when they remember you they remember what you say, and the message you’d like to imprint on them.”

 

Discover the latest campaigns here

Many thanks, Andy, for all your fantastic work so far!

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Frugal meal for lent : come and join us!

soup-shortlandShortlands Soup Lunch: Thursday 9 March – 1pm-2pm

We will be offering a delicious soup lunch at the CAFOD Southwark Volunteer Centre (St Catherine’s Cottage, Bishop Challoner School, 288 Bromley Road, Shortlands, Bromley, BR2 0AB) on Thursday 9th March between 1pm and 2pm. Please join us for a simple soup lunch in solidarity with our sisters and brothers living in poverty around the world. Let us know if you are coming.

soup-tunbridge wellsFast Day bread and soup lunch – 12noon-1:30pm Friday 10 March, Tunbridge Wells

St Augustine’s Justice and Peace group invite you to share a simple soup and bread lunch in solidarity with our sisters and brothers who are hungry. Proceeds to CAFOD. Location: St Augustine’s Church, Crescent Road, TN1 2LY

Do let us know if you are planning on holding your own soup lunch, special children’s liturgy or other event for CAFOD’s Lent Appeal in your own parish.

We hope the preparations for Lent Fast Day are going well

Children’s chores making a difference to CAFOD’s partners

St John Vianney in Bexleyheath is in full swing as they prepare for CAFOD Lent Fast Day. Lyn Goddard, Bexley deanery area-coordinator volunteer, shares their journey with us.

Says Lyn: Lent Fast Day is fast approaching and preparations in our parish are now in full swing.

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St John Vianney, Bexleyheath

As usual, we’ll be putting up a display on the porch noticeboard and this time the theme will be fish…….and lots of eye-catching brightly-decorated fish spring to mind.

Our display, which will remain in place until the following Sunday, will coincide for Serge, our parish rep, to give his talk on Sunday 5th March.

We staple the CAFOD envelopes to the weekly newsletter which is handed out by our welcomers, together with the parish mass book. We find this solves the problem of folk forgetting to take an envelope when they leave after Mass. It also means everyone has the envelope in front of them when Serge is delivering his talk.

We make a point of using the CAFOD prayers of intercession throughout Lent as this helps to keep us focused on the needs of our brothers and sisters around the world. The newsletter includes a brief announcement reminding everyone that Fast Day is coming and it urges them to use Gift Aid if possible thereby increasing their gift.

After the 10.30.am Mass, which is our main Sunday service, we usually have refreshments in the hall. This gives parishioners a chance to chat and catch up on all the news.

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Lyn Goddard, left, with fellow Parish Volunteers at a Lent Fast Day briefing

On 5th March we’ll be having the usual refreshments as well as showing the video of Nkandu Chikonde which is available on the CAFOD website .

The youngsters haven’t been forgotten either.

We’re challenging them to become involved in the Fast Day efforts. Each child has been given a CAFOD money box and we’re asking them to do chores at home to earn money to put in the box.

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CAFOD money box

Obviously we want them to raise whatever money they can and we believe it will be good for them to feel they’re contributing. By doing chores they can see that the money they raise is a direct result of their own efforts.

As we feel our efforts shouldn’t just be restricted to a collection on Fast Day, we’re also planning a Lenten fund-raising frugal lunch. The occasion will also raise awareness of the challenges many people face in trying to find enough food to feed their families.

Finally, we hope to have a Day of Prayer for CAFOD which will include Stations of the Cross.

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Further details about this will be announced shortly.