Our new Campaign coordinator – Ged Nolan

Ged Nolan is one of our amazing volunteers who has been a wonderful example of how to put one’s faith into action. Seeking a new purpose after retirement, Ged was inspired by CAFOD’s commitment to work with people who devote their lives to defending the rights of the poorest and most marginalised around the world.

Ged Nolan – a Volunteer with many hats!

Ged felt that his experienced in working with and providing aid to many people in Africa and Asia would come in handy.

Ged with other School volunteers at a training day

Ged came forward to volunteer for CAFOD as an Educational Volunteer in April 2015 when he saw it advertised in the parish newsletter.  He now visits local catholic schools, where he carries out assemblies and workshops. He has promoted CAFOD’s campaigns, such as ‘Power To Be‘, ‘Speak up for CAFOD‘ and the ‘Lampedusa Cross pilgrimage‘.

For Ged, the inclusion of young people into CAFOD’s work is vital to ensure that CAFOD’s mission and values carry on.

Ged in is office volunteer role

In late 2015, Ged offered to work in the volunteer centre as an office volunteer wanting to give more time to the cause he believed in so much.

Then in 2016, Ged agreed to be the Parish contact at his parish of St Joseph’s (Gerrads Cross).  Through this and his other roles, Ged was starting to get more familiar with CAFOD’s work and enjoyed liaising with other volunteers so stepping into the role of Area coordinator for the SE Bucks Pastoral area was an easy transition.

Ged having coordinator training from the campaigns team

In May 2017 he took on the role and hit the ground running.  He also signed up to be an MP correspondent! In July 2017 Ged allowed his arm to be twisted to take on the role of Campaign Coordinator for the Northampton Diocese as he was already doing that role to a small extent.

>> Find out about volunteering for CAFOD

 

Ged said he accepted this role because:

Ged supporting CAFOD campaign Power to Be

 

“ I am passionate about having the opportunity to stimulate, grow and help the existing and potential Campaign Volunteers.  Volunteers play a vital role in helping to change the root causes of injustice which keep our brothers and sisters living in poverty.  With their support we can help fight inequality and injustice”.

 

 

In his new role, Ged will be working closely with current campaign volunteers as well as those keen to support CAFOD campaigns in other ways. He will also network with parishes and other organisations to help maximise the impact of CAFOD campaigns.

Ged gives a talk about CAFOD’s work

Energising and training current volunteers, as well as enthusing people to join our campaigns will be another major aspect of Ged’s new role.

It is clear that Ged is motivated from the heart to help others. Once you have met Ged, it is impossible not to be moved by his compassion towards those around him, as well as his tremendous generosity in terms of time and effort.  He is always ready to lend a hand and has warmed himself to those whom he works with by his gentleness and good sense of humour.

Thank you Ged for all you do. You are a great example of the true spirit of CAFOD’s volunteers!

>> Fine out how you can volunteer for CAFOD

 

“Faith in Action” day at St Paul’s School

CAFOD Education volunteers Ged Nolan and Cathy Stormonth were excited to be attending the St Paul’s School Faith in Action Day with students from other Catholic secondary schools – Thornton College, St Thomas Becket, St Thomas More and Cardinal Newman and guests from Pax Christi, The Columbans, Young Christian Workers, Northampton Youth Ministry Office and of course CAFOD!

Ged and Cathy with Bishop Peter at the CAFOD stall

An exhibition stand was set up with all the latest information from CAFOD including information about CAFOD’s work using our Learning hub, the ‘Power to be’ campaign, how to run a Lampedusa Cross refugee pilgrimage, some general fundraising ideas and specific fundraising for Autumn Harvest and Christmas World Gifts and lots on Climate Change and about Pope Francis’ message to everyone – Laudato Si’.

Bishop Peter addresses delegates at Faith In Action day – St Paul’s School MK

The ‘Faith in Action’ day was opened by the Northampton Youth Ministry with a reading, prayer and time for reflection. Bishop Peter, who was in attendance, greeted everyone and was promptly asked some searching questions by the Youth Worker about why he was there and what he hoped to achieve that day? The interviewer also asked the students the same questions with much hilarity when students gave some frank answers such as ‘I’m attending because I’m missing lessons at school!’

Ged Nolan – CAFOD stall

The CAFOD stand attracted students who browsed the resources and took some away. Ged and Cathy were able to talk to students and give them some ideas about community service and fundraising.

The students left to go to their class-based ‘Faith in Action’ sessions and this left the teachers, other staff, Bishop Peter and Fr Tony Brennan for the ’Professionals in Attendance’ session with CAFOD. Ged gave some tips for the ‘Faith in Action Award’ and also explained how well the Power to be assemblies and workshops were going as schools wanted to learn more about the importance of sustainable and safe energy.  They described how having access renewable energy, solar panels, in a town in Kenya has helped transformed the lives of the community.  Children have the chance of a better education as they are able to study for longer periods and are empowered to realise their dreams and ambitions.  All agreed that they wanted to explore this powerful campaign further and adapt it to their schools’ needs.

>> Sign our Power to Be campaign petition

A discussion about the importance of Laudato Si’ ensued and the ongoing refugee crisis.  It was a useful discussion and it was clear that all schools attending wanted to work with CAFOD next year and praised the high quality of CAFOD resources.  Cathy and Ged were very pleased to hear this and are looking forward to working with schools in the year ahead.

A big thank you to St Paul’s for inviting CAFOD to be part of the “Faith in Action” day and to Schools’ volunteers Cathy and Ged for supporting the day and raising the plight of those living in poverty.

If you are interested in being a schools’ volunteer please get in touch northampton@cafod.org.uk

 

Bishop Parker Pupils are Energised by the `Power to be’

During the year pupils at Bishop Parker School (Milton Keynes) have responded to Pope Francis’ invitation in his letter to everyone – Laudato Si’ to live wisely, think deeply and to love generously in protecting the world that God has entrusted to us all.  Pupils have been thinking about how they can live more simply and, in school, have been trying to :

  1. Be less wasteful with paper and recycling more
  2. Reduce water usage – turning taps off when not needed
  3. Reduce electricity usage – switching off lights when not in use.

Cathy explains the impact of climate change at Bishop Parker School

CAFOD schools’ volunteer Cathy Stormonth delivered two Key stage 2 assemblies about CAFOD’s latest campaign ‘Power to be’.  She explained how a Kenyan village came to life and flourished all because they had electricity generated by solar panels.

Year 5 pupils construct their sunray display

Students felt it was unfair that 1 in 6 people in our world don’t have access to electricity! The effect of this is that children are not always able to have a good education as they are dependent on day light to study and can’t realise their dreams and ambitions.

Cathy encouraged the students to be ‘lobbyists’ and to write persuasive messages to Melanie Robinson (the UK’s representative at the World Bank) to spend more of their energy budget on safe, renewable energy which tackles poverty, so everyone can have the chance to fulfil their God-given potential.

>> send a petition to the World Bank

Yr 6 pupils reflect on their messages to the World Bank

In the subsequent workshop, Year 5 and 6 pupils were shown the Laudato Si video clip which has the global statistics about the impact of climate change. Pupils were very concerned to know how the poorest people on earth who live on less than 70p per day are the most vulnerable.  If sea levels rise in the next 20 years with the increase in global temperature then almost 200 million people in low lying island communities are at risk.  One Y5 pupil said ‘We have to do something about this now’

In the Year 3 and 4 workshops pupils were shown a CAFOD film clip on Climate Change and how the increase in its effects have happened through global industrialisation and the burning of fossil fuels.  We discussed how the UK has experienced extreme weather changes in recent years and how flooding, droughts and the rise in global temperature are affecting us all.

Year 3 power to be display

Year 4 construct their Sun ray Display

Pupils constructed their giant sun displays with a superb range of comments about their feelings about the unfairness of people living in poverty not having access to electricity. They wrote many messages to the British representative at the World Bank to reconsider raising the financial aid budget for using renewable and sustainable energy sources – especially solar power. Each of the 4 year group workshops ended with a reflection and a prayer.

Assistant head teacher, Mrs Jane Shone, reported later how pupils were struck by some of the stark messages and statistics delivered. She said ‘it was a very thought provoking activity for the children. They are very keen to try and change things now.’

>> To find out more about the campaign and to sign the petition, go to our website

A big thanks to Bishop Parker for having CAFOD in to share with the students who were really impassioned to act. Thanks also to our education volunteer Cathy who did a fab job in raising awareness of the plight of those living in poverty.

If you are interested in being a schools’ volunteer please get in touch northampton@cafod.org.uk