New Year’s resolutions with a difference

Marine is a Community Participation Coordinator for CAFOD in the diocese of Southwark. She is sharing with us how the Tier 4 announcement kicked off her New Year Resolutions thinking and the role  CAFOD played.

Tier 4 : an invitation to quietness

Marine with Volunteer Thomas Kimaru

For New year I am usually in France. I would usually go to my favourite Aunty’s house with all my cousins and we would cook together, play board games and finish by dancing all night while leaving the children running wild drinking champomy (A French sparkling non alcholic beverage looking like champagne!). Then we would share our New Year Resolutions.

I am one of these people who take resolutions for the New Year and stick to it. But this year is a bit different as I had such a quiet Tier 4 Christmas in London. This quietness made me decide to start my new Year Resolutions before New Year as I thought :”Why wait?” and here we go this was my first new year resolution done. I wont wait from now on.  I will do what I think is important now and not tomorrow or after the new year – we never know!

My three 2021 New Year Resolutions

Spend quality time doing my daughter’s interest : draw

So during the December holiday break I implemented my first resolution: spend quality time with my kids around their interests even though they challenge me. I started, for example, drawing portraits with my daughter and discovered that by following a step by step App I could do it! So if I can more or less draw, really… I can do anything else!

Marine and another CAFOD supporter with their MP Neil Coyle during a Lobby to Parliament

It led me to my second resolution: Climate can’t wait either. I have been active for a while but this year is really important as the COPE 26 will be held in the UK. So I have decided to follow carefully some of CAFOD’s plan of action and I will speak up to my MP with the power of my Pen : “I will resolve to write three letters a year to my MP, I will use CAFOD’s support and briefing, and I will help to bring about real, political change that can tackle poverty and injustice worldwide”.
If you want to use the power of your pen: join CAFOD MP correspondent team

CAFOD news are easy to access online

My third resolution: stay informed to speak out better for Justice. I will read CAFOD’s news without fault as at least I know the information is balanced.
If you want to speak out for Justice go to CAFOD’s website’s news section  

I always stop at three or I wont be able to follow them through. That’s it for me. What about you?

Take a New Year Resolution with a difference

Will you take a new year resolution? Here are some ideas to take a New Year Resolution with a difference:

  1. Pray throughout this year for our global family – https://cafod.org.uk/Pray/Prayer-resources
  2. Live more simply and sustainably this year to help care for the environment- https://cafod.org.uk/Campaign/Livesimply-award/Livesimply-ideas
  3. Volunteer with CAFOD :  https://cafod.org.uk/Volunteer/Volunteer-with-us
  4. Have fun,  raise money and transform lives  – https://cafod.org.uk/Fundraise/A-Z-of-fundraising-ideas
  5. Give regularly – https://cafod.org.uk/Give#section-link-26982
  6. Invite your global family into your celebrations this year by creating a celebration fund – https://cafod.org.uk/Fundraise/Give-in-celebration
  7. Buy ethically – https://cafod.org.uk/Campaign/Fairtrade

Finding a family at CAFOD

CAFOD volunteer Miriam McEneaney from St. Lawrence’s Parish, Feltham; shares her experience of volunteering and being inspired by and building relationships with her fellow volunteers.

Getting hooked on volunteering

Miriam grew in her volunteering role from writing to her MP to volunteer coordinator

I have been volunteering with CAFOD for a few years now.  It was when my children had left school and I was no longer involved in school or scout committees. I wanted to get involved in something where I could put my faith into action.  I went to an Understanding CAFOD day and I was hooked.  The first thing that struck me about volunteering for CAFOD was how flexible it was.  It was something I could fit around my normal working week.

I started out by being an MPC (MP Correspondent).  This involved writing to my MP about three times a year requesting their support on various petitions.  I then volunteered to be a roaming speaker.  I would speak at various Churches during the Lent and Harvest appeals where they do not have a CAFOD presence.

Find out more about our volunteering opportunities

Finding a family at CAFOD

CAFOD family on a ZOOM call

The next step in my CAFOD journey was when I became a Campaign Volunteer Co-ordinator for parts of the Westminster and West Southwark Diocese.  The role is very varied and you get as much out of it as you put into it.  It involves liaising with all the wonderful Campaign Volunteers, keeping them up to date with what’s happening and encouraging them to spread the word in their parishes.  Obviously, emails are an important part in communication but a few times a year, I really like to phone around.  This was particularly important during lockdown.  So many people were really pleased to get the call – especially if they were living alone.  It really struck me that CAFOD is a family and we should all be looking out for each other.  I know I always felt motivated after each call and I hope the Campaign Volunteer did too.  When I first started to phone the Campaign Volunteers, it was a bit daunting.  Now, it is like catching up with friends.  There is also a sense of freedom because I am asking for time and not money.  If ever I have a question, there is always support from Tony and Marine, my two Community Participation Co-ordinators.

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