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Could you become a CAFOD Schools Volunteer?
posted on 01 April 2009
CAFOD Westminster School volunteers on previous training day: Agatha, Melanie, who wrote the article -  Helen, Angela and Steve
CAFOD Westminster School volunteers on previous training day: Agatha, Melanie, who wrote the article - Helen, Angela and Steve

CAFOD has always seen the education of young people in the area of global justice as an integral part of its work. CAFOD is looking for volunteers with good communication skills and who enjoy working with young people to expand their horizons towards a global society.

CAFOD School volunteers visit primary or secondary schools in the diocese to tell the young people about CAFOD's work. Often giving presentations in assemblies or working with smaller groups of pupils running engaging activities about social justice.

Melanie Cunningham, a CAFOD Westminster Schools volunteer explains what is involved.

'Having just walked away from a long career at Marks and Spencer I was wondering what I was going to do next...

....so the appeal in the parish newsletter for a schools volunteer working for CAFOD caught my eye. Apart from my own children I had experience of neither children nor teaching. 'Don't worry' said Tony 'We'll train you, you can start off shadowing an old hand and, no, you don't have to stand up in front of an assembly'... So after a successful 'interview' with Tony I decided to give it a go.

The next stop was 3 days of training, at head office, which was brilliant. A clich I know, but I met some great people, many of whom I have since worked with. The training is led by an ex-head, and many on the course are teachers or ex-teachers. I left the course feeling inspired and fully prepared.

A couple of weeks later, I had a phone call after my first assembly (Tony is very persuasive!) saying that the children had got together, independently of the staff,  to raise money for CAFOD; the cheque really was in the post. Good start I thought.

 That was 2 years ago...I'm now linked to half a dozen local schools and have visited many more, from Harlesden to Harrow. Although the purpose of my role is education rather than fundraising, every school I've visited has taken part in fundraising, often at the request of the children. It's an important role. Our children are so privileged, (some would say spoilt), and if I can encourage just one child to support CAFOD, in the future, then as far as I'm concerned job done!'

More information on becoming a CAFOD school volunteer

If you would like to become a Schools Volunteer and book a place on our schools training days on 27 April and 25 May 2010 (both days), please contact us for an application form  at westminster@cafod.org.uk


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