Every year, young volunteers put themselves forward to be part of our Step into the Gap programme where they work at a UK based project for a year, which includes everything from working with other young people to being part of Chaplaincy team. They also spend a few weeks travelling abroad to see some of our partner programmes and meet the people who they are helping. This year, Alice Bowers based at Newman University in the Chaplaincy team and she has written about her day as a volunteer on the Step into the Gap Programme.
A Thursday begins at 8:45 with morning prayer prepared by me that is usually on the theme of Justice issues. This year we have covered things such as world women’s day and have focused on CAFOD’s reflection cards on climate change.
The morning following that will be general admin, answering e-mails, assisting the Chaplain and being available in the office to offer pastoral care and be available to anyone who might drop in the office, which could happen at any time.
At some point in the morning I might also head off around campus to try and catch up with members of the International development group to chat about and remind about meeting on the Friday, book any rooms which are required for the meeting on the Friday and prepare subjects for us to discuss/take action on.
At about 11:30 I leave to set up the sacristy lounge in Chapel for soup kitchen. Heating up the soup which has been made the night before and preparing rolls and mugs etc to be used.
Soup kitchen starts at 12 and can go on, with people dropping in to have free soup and a roll and donate to CAFOD, until about 2:30.
Then it’s clean down after soup kitchen and back to the office to see what the day brings.
I might have to book a table to have in the main reception area for fair-trade stall the following week or have some visitors to the office. Prepare for presentations on the visit to CAFOD partners in Peru which took place in early January-mid Feb and try and contact schools/other chaplaincies etc about giving talks there.
The day finishes at 4:30 but Thursday evenings is Christian Union day at the University which I usually attend, 5:30-7:30pm.