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

 

One of our Longest standing Volunteers

CAFOD has wonderful volunteers and one such person is 83 year old Agnes Milne from St Mary’s parish Dunstable.  Isabelle (a fellow volunteer) writes about Agnes :

Agnes Milne

With a strong passion for Africa, Agnes Milne embarked on her journey to Uganda before CAFOD actually began. In Uganda, as a Geography teacher with young Christian students, she enjoyed being a part of the Overseas development. Word of a Catholic movement to help improve conditions for those who live in poverty overseas sparked Agnes’ initial interest.

Agnes got involved with CAFOD in its early days and has been a strong force in getting the voice of the voiceless heard. Knowing that campaigning can tackle the root causes of poverty, Agnes has been involved in many campaigns such as the Jubilee 2000 petition, calling for an end to the crippling debt facing many of the world’s poorest countries.  This succeeded in cancelling US$110 billion worth of debt owed by poor countries!  She was also involved with the Make Poverty History campaign in 2005 and many others.

Agnes campaigning at Westminster with her family

The decision to volunteer was “the cheerfulness and the wonderful reception” she received from CAFOD and how “the volunteers were so committed and dedicated in their role.”  What stood out for Agnes as a portrayal of CAFOD’s work was the fact that they “work in partnership and direct the money to where it is needed most which empowers and brings great joy to the community to help them out of poverty.”

Agnes has been a long-standing parishioner of St Mary’s in Dunstable and involved in many aspects of parish life. She is a campaigner and MP Correspondent as well as the parish volunteer for CAFOD.  She sits on the Justice and Peace commission for the diocese.

Agnes is often seen encouraging others to be involved and this has led to youth and Brownies fund-raisers with young people giving the fast day talk in the parish and attending the Supporters’ day.

Thank you Agnes for all you have done and continue to do to support CAFOD’s work. You are a shining example to us all !

>> Get involved in out latest campaign

 

Who is Jack Emsley?

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1) Who are you?

I’m currently a student just finished at St Thomas More Catholic Upper School in Bedford and about to start my first year at university in London to study politics.  I am a volunteer for CAFOD in my parish (Holy Cross – Bedford) and part of the newly set up CAFOD group in Bedford which comprises 5 churches.

 

2) What are your interests?

Besides being a keen football supporter (and a very proud one at that, given Watfords recent promotion!) and an avid reader, I have a real interest in international politics, and specifically international development. I love learning about other cultures, the history surrounding other countries and the nuances of the various regional customs around the globe.

 

3) Why have you become a CAFOD Volunteer and what have you done in your role?

It sounds almost cliché, but I wanted to make a difference! It’s all very well being outraged at the injustices in the world, and offering an armchair analysis of how to fight poverty in developing nations, but I wanted to put my Catholic sense of morality into action. The first thing I did as a volunteer was to attend a supporters’ day, to develop my own understanding of what CAFOD does in its fight for overseas development.  From there, I was able to give a short talk in my local parish to raise awareness for our Lenten Fast Day.  I helped organise several fundraising events; this ranged from an afternoon tea in Kempston alongside our fantastic Bedford group of CAFOD volunteers, to a local community morning in Brickhill, helping to engage with the local community and sixth formers at St Thomas More in order to raise awareness for CAFODs work.  Since the beginning of the year, the Bedford area has generously raised over £2,500 thanks to a combination of our Lenten appeal and local fundraising events, and I’m proud to have been a part of this.

Aimee, Daniel and Jack who helped an enormous amount, donating some really lovely cakes

Coffee Morning – Promoting CAFOD at St Thomas More School

 

4) How have you inspired your school to take action?

I’ve worked closely with my school to try to promote the work that CAFOD does, not only through fundraising, but by ensuring that students and teachers alike understand the vital work that our charity does in the developing world. Most recently, we held a CAFOD morning for sixth formers and local residents to help students and residents of the nearby area engage in a dialogue about why we need to combat global social injustice. It was a way of getting a local community to meet and tackle problems faced in our global community, and it’s through events like this that we can really start to get more young people engaged with CAFODs work!

 

5) What do you hope to do and why?

After university, I’m hoping to go on and work in international development, possibly in conjunction with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, or perhaps as part of an NGO. For me, we all have a duty to help those most in need in the world, whether it’s by donating to charities like CAFOD and promoting their work, or actually going to the areas most affected by poverty and global injustices, and working on the ground with real people. Whatever the future brings, I’ll continue to be an avid supporter of CAFOD and all of its work, and look forward to continuing to help with fundraising efforts in the Diocese of Northampton and beyond.

 

Jack with CAFOD's Sheku Mark from Sierra Leone

Jack with CAFOD’s Sheku Mark from Sierra Leone

 

6) What have you got to say about people getting in touch with their MPs?

As someone who’s worked with their local MP both in Westminster and at the local constituency office, I can’t stress how important it is to lobby your local MP! A lot of people think the only dialogue you have with a Member of Parliament comes when there’s an election on, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. I would encourage people to post a letter or email to your local representative and ask them what they’re doing to combat global poverty, or to fight climate change. If you’re a little braver, arrange to spend the day with your MP either in your constituency or in Westminster. Members of Parliament are always willing to meet with a potential voter over lunch and discuss the issues.  Even if it’s just signing a petition, like CAFOD’s recent petition to David Cameron on Climate Change, opening a dialogue with your representative in Parliament really helps to push CAFOD’s work onto the agenda at Westminster.

I’m looking forward to talking to supporters in Milton Keynes on 19 September about the role we can all play in lobbying our MPs; I really hope that the work being done by CAFOD can inspire all of us to bring our fight against climate change, and against global poverty, to the forefront of the political agenda in Britain.